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Neuron-glia communication: metallothionein expression is specifically up-regulated by astrocytes in response to neuronal injury


Chung, RS and Adlard, PA and Dittman, J and Vickers, JC and Chuah, MI and West, AK, Neuron-glia communication: metallothionein expression is specifically up-regulated by astrocytes in response to neuronal injury, Journal of Neurochemistry, 88, (2) pp. 454-461. ISSN 0022-3042 (2004) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1046/j.1471-4159.2003.02193.x


Recent data suggests that metallothioneins (MTs) are major neuroprotective proteins within the CNS. In this regard, we have recently demonstrated that MT-IIA (the major human MT-I/-II isoform) promotes neural recovery following focal cortical brain injury. To further investigate the role of MTs in cortical brain injury, MT-I/-II expression was examined in several different experimental models of cortical neuron injury. While MT-I/-II immunoreactivity was not detectable in the uninjured rat neocortex, by 4 days, following a focal cortical brain injury, MT-I/-II was found in astrocytes aligned along the injury site. At latter time points, astrocytes, at a distance up to several hundred microns from the original injury tract, were MT-I/-II immunoreactive. Induced MT-I/-II was found both within the cell body and processes. Using a cortical neuron/astrocyte co-culture model, we observed a similar MT-I/-II response following in vitro injury. Intriguingly, scratch wound injury in pure astrocyte cultures resulted in no change in MT-I/-II expression. This suggests that MT induction was specifically elicited by neuronal injury. Based upon recent reports indicating that MT-I/-II are major neuroprotective proteins within the brain, our results provide further evidence that MT-I/-II plays an important role in the cellular response to neuronal injury.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Central nervous system
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Chung, RS (Associate Professor Roger Chung)
UTAS Author:Dittman, J (Mr Justin Dittman)
UTAS Author:Vickers, JC (Professor James Vickers)
UTAS Author:Chuah, MI (Associate Professor Inn Chuah)
UTAS Author:West, AK (Professor Adrian West)
ID Code:31388
Year Published:2004
Web of Science® Times Cited:63
Deposited By:Anatomy and Physiology
Deposited On:2004-08-01
Last Modified:2005-04-15

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