A Master's thesis.
Master (thesis) (master)
Modulation of the gap junction protein Connexin36 in neurons in a mouse model of transient focalcerebral ischemia
Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine
Number of pages
Intercellular communication is achieved at specialized regions of the plasma membrane by¦gap junctions. Gap junctions are transmembrane channels allowing direct contacts between¦the cytoplasms of neighboring cells. Each cell participates with one hemichannel, or¦connexon, made of six protein subunits named connexins. Thanks to these junctions, cells¦potentially share a pool of small molecules and metabolites, such as nucleotides, amino acids¦and second messengers.¦In an ischemic (i.e. non-perfused) territory of the brain, irreversible damage progresses over¦time from the centre of the most severe flow reduction to the periphery with less disturbed¦perfusion. Functionally impaired tissue can survive and recover if sufficient reperfusion is reestablished¦within a limited time period, which depends on various factors and mechanisms¦modulating the signaling pathways leading to cell death.¦Observations were made indicating the presence of electrical coupling between neurons which¦resist better to an ischemic insult. This electrical coupling is likely to be mediated by¦Connexin36 (Cx36), a neuron specific connexin isoform. It was demonstrated in the past that¦global ischemia induces a selective upregulation of Cx36 expression in regions with neurons¦that survive the insult whereas others undergo apoptosis and die. These observations raise the¦possibility that the neuronal gap junction Cx36 might play a role in the destiny of neurons¦after cerebral ischemia.¦The aim of this work was to characterize the regulation of Connexin36 in a mouse model of¦transient focal cerebral ischemia by immunofluorescence and Western blot analysis. Our¦immunofluorescence results suggest a specific increase in Cx36 in the penumbral region of¦the ischemic hemisphere.
Intercellular communication, Connexin, Cerebral ischemia
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