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      Alpha-B-Crystallin Expression in Tissues Derived from Different Species in Different Age Groups

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          αB-Crystallin is constitutively expressed in a variety of tissues including the nervous system, the eye, heart and striated muscles and the kidney. The functional significance of the protein in the different cell populations is not yet known. Experimental data indicate that mechanical stress to the cells might play a role but that there is also a close correlation with markers of oxidative activity. Increased expression of αB-crystallin is seen in a number of age-related degenerative diseases. Whether aging per se induces expression of the protein has not been investigated yet. In this study tissue samples of the anterior eye segment, optic nerve, heart muscle and thyroid gland from mouse, rat, pig, cow and human donors of different age groups were investigated with immunohistochemical methods. αB-Crystallin levels in heart muscle and optic nerve samples from different species and different age groups were investigated using protein immunoblotting (dot blot) and the mRNA levels using semiquantitative PCR methods. The results showed that neither in heart muscle known to show constitutively high amounts of the protein nor in nonlenticular eye tissues with variations in staining intensity of different cell populations or in glandular cells studied for the first time, there were significant age-related staining differences. Dot blot methods as a quantitative evaluation method gave similar results. There were, however, species differences. In the eye these differences could be due to functional differences related to the development of a fovea centralis and an accommodative system in primates. In addition, in all mouse tissues there was less protein expression than in the other species. Differences in the absolute life span might be a factor involved in αB-crystallin expression. In summary the findings show that an increase in αB-crystallin with age may occur but is not a general phenomenon in tissues constitutively expressing this protein.

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          Accumulation of alpha B-crystallin in brains of patients with Alexander's disease is not due to an abnormality of the 5'-flanking and coding sequence of the genomic DNA.

          alpha B-Crystallin is a major protein component of Rosenthal fibers, which massively accumulate in the brains of patients suffering from Alexander's disease. To examine whether or not accumulation of alpha B-crystallin is due to any abnormality of the gene structures, we determined the sequence of the alpha B-crystallin gene in two cases of pathologically confirmed Alexander's disease. Direct sequencing of the promoter and coding regions of the alpha B-crystallin gene in patients revealed them to have a normal sequence. Northern blotting showed a single alpha B-crystallin mRNA species expressed in the Alexander's disease brain.
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            Age-related changes in levels of the β-subunit of nerve growth factor in selected regions of the brain: comparison between senescence-accelerated (SAM-P8) and senescence-resistant (SAM-R1) mice

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              Ubiquitin-protein conjugates and αB crystallin are selectively present in cells undergoing major cytomorphological reorganisation in early chicken embryos


                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                February 2000
                03 February 2000
                : 214
                : 1
                : 13-23
                aDepartment of Anatomy II, Friedrich Alexander University, Erlangen, Germany; bDepartment of Biochemistry, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands
                27469 Ophthalmologica 2000;214:13–23
                © 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 9, Tables: 5, References: 41, Pages: 11


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