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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2012;758:265-71. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-4584-1_36.

Human carotid body HIF and NGB expression during human development and aging.

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Department of Neurosciences and Imaging, University of Chieti, Chieti, Italy.


Hypoxia inducible factor 1(HIF-1α) is the regulator of oxygen homeostasis in tissue correlated with neuroglobin (NGB) a member of the family of globins in vertebrates. The present study investigates, the expression and the location of NGB, HIF-1α in human carotid bodies, sampled at autopsy from children (mean age: 2 year ±), young (mean age: 27.5) and 4 old subjects (mean age: 73.5). The percentage of NGB positive area was higher in the old subjects (4.4 ±2.8%), as compared with the young ones (2.4 ±1.8%) and children (1.0 ±1.8%). Positive HIF-1α nuclei were detected in young and old subjects (1.0 ±0.14% vs 3.0 ±0.28%, respectively), whereas CB tissues from children did not show any HIF-1α reaction. The increase of NGB and HIF-1α expression suggests a possible role of the two oxygen sensors in the aging processes. Even though the physiological role of NGB is not well understood, it could be suggested that is act as a respiratory protein connected with HIF.

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