, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 59–67 | Cite as

Glial molecular alterations with mouse brain development and aging: up-regulation of the Kir4.1 and aquaporin-4



Glial cells, besides participating as passive supporting matrix, are also proposed to be involved in the optimization of the interstitial space for synaptic transmission by tight control of ionic and water homeostasis. In adult mouse brain, inwardly rectifying K+ (Kir4.1) and aquaporin-4 (AQP4) channels localize to astroglial endfeets in contact with brain microvessels and glutamate synapses, optimizing clearance of extracellular K+ and water from the synaptic layers. However, it is still unclear whether there is an age-dependent difference in the expressions of Kir4.1 and AQP4 channels specifically during postnatal development and aging when various marked changes occur in brain and if these changes region specific. RT-PCR and immunoblotting was conducted to compare the relative expression of Kir4.1 and AQP4 mRNA and protein in the early and mature postnatal (0-, 15-, 45-day), adult (20-week), and old age (70-week) mice cerebral and cerebellar cortices. Expressions of Kir4.1 and AQP4 mRNA and protein are very low at 0-day. A pronounced and continuous increase was observed by mature postnatal ages (15-, 45-days). However, in the 70-week-old mice, expressions are significantly up-regulated as compared to 20-week-old mice. Both genes follow the same age-related pattern in both cerebral and cerebellar cortices. The time course and expression pattern suggests that Kir4.1 and AQP4 channels may play an important role in brain K+ and water homeostasis in early postnatal weeks after birth and during aging.


Kir4.1 AQP4 Glia Postnatal development Aging K+ and water homeostasis 



This research was supported by a grant from the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Govt. of India, to M.S.K. RKG thanks the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Govt. of India for a Junior and then a Senior Research Fellowship (CSIR Award No. File No: 09/013 (0111) 2007-EMR I).


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Copyright information

© American Aging Association 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Molecular Biology & Biochemistry Lab., Centre of Advance Study in ZoologyBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia

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