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Impact of Global Cerebral Ischemia on K(+) Channel Expression and Membrane Properties of Glial Cells in the Rat Hippocampus.

Helena Pivonkova, Jana Benesova, Olena Butenko, Alexandr Chvatal, Miroslava Anderova

, 2010 Sep 9 , ,

Astrocytes and NG2 glia respond to CNS injury by the formation of a glial scar. Since the changes in K(+) currents in astrocytes and NG2 glia that accompany glial scar formation might influence tissue outcome by altering K(+) ion homeostasis, we aimed to characterize the changes in K(+) currents in hippocampal astrocytes and NG2 glia during an extended time window of reperfusion after ischemic injury. Global cerebral ischemia was induced in adult rats by bilateral, 15-minute common carotid artery occlusion combined with low-pressure oxygen ventilation. Using the patch-clamp technique, we investigated the membrane properties of hippocampal astrocytes and NG2 glia in situ 2hours, 6hours, 1 day, 3 days, 7 days and 5 weeks after ischemia. Astrocytes in the CA1 region of the hippocampus progressively depolarized starting 3 days after ischemia, which coincided with decreased Kir4.1 protein expression in the gliotic tissue. Other K(+) channels described previously in astrocytes, such as Kir2.1, Kir5.1 and TREK1, did not show any changes in their protein content in the hippocampus after ischemia; however, their expression switched from neurons to reactive astrocytes, as visualized by immunohistochemistry. NG2 glia displayed increased input resistance, decreased membrane capacitance, increased delayed outwardly rectifying and A-type K(+) currents and decreased inward K(+) currents 3 days after ischemia, accompanied by their proliferation. Our results show that the membrane properties of astrocytes after ischemia undergo complex alterations, which might profoundly influence the maintenance of K(+) homeostasis in the damaged tissue, while NG2 glia display membrane currents typical of proliferating cells.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20833221