Hypoxia upregulates the expression of the O-linked N-acetylglucosamine containing epitope H in human ependymal cells
Epitope H contains an O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) residue in a specific conformation and/or environment recognized by mouse IgM monoclonal antibody H (mabH). Epitope H is present in several types of cells and in several polypeptides outside the CNS. Previous results have shown that in the adult human brains, epitope H is confined mostly to a minority of fibrous astrocytes, and it is greatly upregulated in the reactive astrocytes. Post-translational modification with O-GlcNAc occurs on many proteins involved in several cell processes, such as cell cycle progression, apoptosis, proteasome degradation pathways, and modulation of cellular function in response to nutrition and stress. Hypoxia is one of the major causes of cellular stress. Therefore, in this study, we used the mAbH and the indirect immunoperoxidase method to investigate the expression of epitope H in ependymal cells in brains of persons who died with signs of hypoxic encephalopathy. The results of the present study showed that practically all ependymal cells showed cytoplasmic staining for epitope H in supranuclear cytoplasm in the brain of two premature neonates and in ten infants who died with signs of hypoxic encephalopathy. However, the overwhelming majority of ependymal cells of the nine human embryos taken from legal abortions, ranging from 26 days until 13 weeks of gestational age, and of the ten infants' brains without any sign of hypoxic encephalopathy remained negative. Only occasionally did the ependymal cells show weak cytoplasmic staining in some foci. In addition, the reactive astrocytes in the hypoxic brains showed strong cytoplasmic staining, confirming previous results. © 2010 Elsevier GmbH.
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