The capacity of astrocytes to adapt their biochemical and functional features upon physiological and pathological stimuli is a fundamental property at the basis of their ability to regulate the homeostasis of the central nervous system (CNS). It is well known that in primary cultured astrocytes, the expression of plasma membrane ion channels and transporters involved in homeostatic tasks does not closely reflect the pattern observed in vivo. The individuation of culture conditions that promote the expression of the ion channel array found in vivo is crucial when aiming at investigating the mechanisms underlying their dynamics upon various physiological and pathological stimuli. A chemically defined medium containing growth factors and hormones (G5) was previously shown to induce the growth, differentiation, and maturation of primary cultured astrocytes. Here we report that under these culture conditions, rat cortical astrocytes undergo robust morphological changes acquir- ing a multi-branched phenotype, which develops gradually during the 2-week period of culturing. The shape changes were paralleled by variations in passive membrane properties and background conductance owing to the differential temporal development of inwardly rectifying chloride (Cl−) and potassium (K+) currents. Confocal and immunoblot analyses showed that morphologically differentiated astrocytes displayed a large increase in the expression of the inward rectifier Cl− and K+ channels ClC-2 and Kir4.1, respectively, which are relevant ion channels in vivo. Finally, they exhibited a large diminution of the intermediate filaments glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin which are upregulated in reactive astrocytes in vivo. Taken together the data indicate that long-term culturing of cortical astrocytes in this chemical-defined medium promotes a quiescent functional phenotype. This culture model could aid to address the regulation of ion channel expression involved in CNS homeostasis in response to physiological and pathological challenges

Dynamic expression of homeostatic ion channels in differentiated cortical astrocytes in vitro

Formaggio F.
Primo
Investigation
;
Fazzina M.
Secondo
Investigation
;
Caprini M.
Penultimo
Methodology
;
Ferroni S.
Ultimo
Writing – Review & Editing
2022

Abstract

The capacity of astrocytes to adapt their biochemical and functional features upon physiological and pathological stimuli is a fundamental property at the basis of their ability to regulate the homeostasis of the central nervous system (CNS). It is well known that in primary cultured astrocytes, the expression of plasma membrane ion channels and transporters involved in homeostatic tasks does not closely reflect the pattern observed in vivo. The individuation of culture conditions that promote the expression of the ion channel array found in vivo is crucial when aiming at investigating the mechanisms underlying their dynamics upon various physiological and pathological stimuli. A chemically defined medium containing growth factors and hormones (G5) was previously shown to induce the growth, differentiation, and maturation of primary cultured astrocytes. Here we report that under these culture conditions, rat cortical astrocytes undergo robust morphological changes acquir- ing a multi-branched phenotype, which develops gradually during the 2-week period of culturing. The shape changes were paralleled by variations in passive membrane properties and background conductance owing to the differential temporal development of inwardly rectifying chloride (Cl−) and potassium (K+) currents. Confocal and immunoblot analyses showed that morphologically differentiated astrocytes displayed a large increase in the expression of the inward rectifier Cl− and K+ channels ClC-2 and Kir4.1, respectively, which are relevant ion channels in vivo. Finally, they exhibited a large diminution of the intermediate filaments glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin which are upregulated in reactive astrocytes in vivo. Taken together the data indicate that long-term culturing of cortical astrocytes in this chemical-defined medium promotes a quiescent functional phenotype. This culture model could aid to address the regulation of ion channel expression involved in CNS homeostasis in response to physiological and pathological challenges
Formaggio F.; Fazzina M.; Estevez R.; Caprini M.; Ferroni S.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/846419
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