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J Neurosci. 1998 Apr 1;18(7):2321-34.

Upregulation of L-type Ca2+ channels in reactive astrocytes after brain injury, hypomyelination, and ischemia.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.


Anti-peptide antibodies that specifically recognize the alpha1 subunit of class A-D voltage-gated Ca2+ channels and a monoclonal antibody (MANC-1) to the alpha2 subunit of L-type Ca2+ channels were used to investigate the distribution of these Ca2+ channel subtypes in neurons and glia in models of brain injury, including kainic acid-induced epilepsy in the hippocampus, mechanical and thermal lesions in the forebrain, hypomyelination in white matter, and ischemia. Immunostaining of the alpha2 subunit of L-type Ca2+ channels by the MANC-1 antibody was increased in reactive astrocytes in each of these forms of brain injury. The alpha1C subunits of class C L-type Ca2+ channels were upregulated in reactive astrocytes located in the affected regions in each of these models of brain injury, although staining for the alpha1 subunits of class D L-type, class A P/Q-type, and class B N-type Ca2+ channels did not change from patterns normally observed in control animals. In all of these models of brain injury, there was no apparent redistribution or upregulation of the voltage-gated Ca2+ channels in neurons. The upregulation of L-type Ca2+ channels in reactive astrocytes may contribute to the maintenance of ionic homeostasis in injured brain regions, enhance the release of neurotrophic agents to promote neuronal survival and differentiation, and/or enhance signaling in astrocytic networks in response to injury.

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