Astrocyte proliferation in culture following exposure to potassium ion

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Abstract

FOLLOWING brain injury astrocytes swell acutely and proliferate thereafter. To investigate the direct relationship between swelling and proliferation, cultured astroglial cells were exposed to 60 mM K+ ion or hypo-osmolar (205 mOsm) electrolyte solution for 1 h to cause transient swelling. Proliferation was assessed by bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) uptake 24 and 96 h later. The cells were double-labelled with antibodies to glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and BrdU. At 96 h the GFAP immuno-reactive cells exposed to K+ exhibited 44.9% uptake versus 27.0% and 21.1% for control and hypo-osmolar exposed cells, respectively. We conclude that swelling of astroglia in vitro does not induce cell proliferation but transient depolarization following exposure to high K+ does induce

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