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Sheep Primary Astrocytes Under Starvation Conditions Express Higher Amount Of LC3 II Autophagy Marker Than Neurons

Emilio Mura, Gianluca Lepore, Marco Zedda, Stefano Giua, Vittorio Farina


Autophagy is a general term for the degradation of cytoplasmic components within lysosomes. Recent studies have clearly demonstrated that autophagy has a greater variety of physiological and pathophysiological roles than expected, such as starvation adaptation, intracellular protein and organelle clearance, development, anti-aging, elimination of microorganisms, cell death, tumor suppression and antigen presentation. MAP-LC3 is one of the most common markers  to evaluate autophagic processes. In our study, the autophagic activity in neurons and astrocytes from sheep brain under starving conditions was evaluated. In order to detect LC3 immunoreactivity, confocal analysis by double immunofluorescence was performed together with the cell type markers: GFAP to identify astrocytes, β-III tubulin to identify neurons. The results show that astrocytes are characterized by LC3-positive areas, which increase in a time-dependent manner. In contrast, LC3 immunoreactivity was very weak in neurons. Therefore, it can be assumed that astrocytes show a higher capability than neurons to cope with stress and exhibit a stronger autophagic response.


autophagy; LC3; astrocytes; neurons; sheep

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