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Acta Neuropathol. 2003 Oct;106(4):319-22. Epub 2003 Jul 8.

Distribution of alpha and beta integrin subunits in the adult rat hippocampus after pilocarpine-induced neuronal cell loss, axonal reorganization and reactive astrogliosis.

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  • 1Department of Epileptology, University of Bonn Medical Center, Sigmund-Freud Str. 25, 53127 Bonn, Germany.


Integrins are alphabeta-heterodimers that act as cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) and cell-cell adhesion molecules. During development, they are involved in axonal guidance, synaptogenesis, and in astrocytic maturation and migration. Here, we have examined the potential role of the integrin subunits alpha1-alpha5 and beta1-beta5 in axonal sprouting, synaptogenesis and reactive astrogliosis in the adult rat brain caused by pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (SE). Strong hippocampal immunoreactivity of alpha1-alpha5, beta1, beta3, beta4, and beta5 was observed in the pia mater, in vascular endothelia, and in astrocytes at the pial surface. beta2 immunoreactivity was found exclusively in vascular endothelia. Pyramidal cells and interneurons of CA3-CA1, as well as hilar neurons revealed moderate alpha5 labeling in their cell bodies. Mossy fibers were immunoreactive for alpha2, beta4, and beta5. After pilocarpine-induced SE, strong immunoreactivity for alpha1, alpha2, alpha4, alpha5, beta1, beta3, and beta4 was observed in reactive astrocytes. Our results show that members of the integrin family are differently distributed in cellular and subcellular compartments of the hippocampus and undergo specific patterns of regulation, which may be important for lesion-induced reactive changes in the adult brain.

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