Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are proton-gated cation channels expressed throughout the nervous system. These channels are activated by acidic pH conditions within an attainable physiologic range. The specific function of these channels has proven to be elusive, but it is clear that they are involved in various neuronal processes, both in the central nervous system as well as in the periphery. In order to further study the functions of these channels in an animal model system, transgenic animals were generated that overexpress individual ASIC subunits: ASIC2a and ASIC3. Transgenic proteins were detectable in brain and peripheral nervous tissue, and each had differential effects on acid-gated current properties in cultured neurons. Transgenes included N-terminal epitope tags to distinguish from endogenous ASICs, and expression was driven by a pan-neuronal promoter. Mechanical thermal sensory behaviors were tested in the transgenic mice. However, no effect was observed in these behaviors.
The most interesting effect of overexpressing ASIC3 was the resulting impairment of conditioned fear behaviors in the transgenic animals without effect on unconditioned fear. ASIC3 transgenic behave like ASIC1a knockout mice in conditioned fear behaviors. Transgenic ASIC3 interacts with endogenous ASIC1, and is likely altering subunit composition of ASIC channels in the brain without abolishing proton-gated currenst like in the ASIC1a knockout.
Overexpressing these two ASIC subunits in transgenic animals has produced tools that may be used to further study the functions of these channels. While this still is an artificial setting for studying ASIC functions, it nonetheless provides an in vivo method to study the effects of altering subunit composition in a whole animal and its behavioral effects, as well as in vivo expression of transgenes that can be studies biochemically. It is hopeful that studying localization in the transgenic mice will afford a better understanding of the localization and function of endogenous channels without the limitations of generating antibodies against endogenous mouse ASIC proteins, which is still in progress.
|Advisor:||Welsh, Michael J.|
|Commitee:||Benson, Christopher J., Brennan, Timothy J., Hammond, Donna L., Hell, Johannes W., Snyder, Peter M.|
|School:||The University of Iowa|
|School Location:||United States -- Iowa|
|Source:||DAI-B 72/12, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Acid-sending ion channel, Fear conditioning, Mechanosensation, Overexpressing asic, Transgenic mice|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be