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Adult Neural Stem Cell Markers

  CD133 is a pentamembrane cell surface protein.
  Picture taken from a fetal brain [CD133= red;
  GFAP= green].

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 (AQP4)
Aquaporin $
  Aquaporin 4 in green shown in the adult
  human brain.

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.


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