CD133 is a pentamembrane cell surface protein.
Picture taken from a fetal brain [CD133= red;
The mapping of the expression of CD133 in the normal adult human brain.
CD133 has been used as a marker of both human fetal neural stem cells and, most recently, as a marker for cancer stem cell in the human adult cancerous brain.
Our study involves using non-cancer human adult brain tissue to test the hypothesis that CD133 could also be present in a selective group of astrocytes during adulthood. This result will demonstrate that the human brain contains neural stem cells throughout adult life.
Aquaporin 4 in green shown in the adult
Understanding the expression and characterization of Aquaporin 4 (AQP4); a class of water channel proteins found to regulate membrane water permeability in several organ systems, in the normal fetal and adult human brain.
These proteins are purported to play a role in vasogenic edema and tumor cell migration. According to animal studies, AQP4 is predominantly found on ependymal cells and astrocytes contacting blood vessels. Yet, there is a paucity of studies analyzing the topographic expression in humans.
Thorough characterization of AQP-4 in non-cancer human fetal and adult brains is the first step towards elucidating AQP-4 mechanisms of action that may play a role in several pathophysiological phenomena: vasogenic edema and tumor cell migration.
A better understanding of the function of AQP-4 could allow for novel therapeutic strategies to modulate these tumor associated events.