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Papers of the Week

Papers: 2 Mar 2019 - 8 Mar 2019

Animal Studies


2020 Mar

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab



Na/K-ATPase α isoform deficiency results in distinct spreading depolarization phenotypes.


Reiffurth C, Alam M, Zahedi-Khorasani M, Major S, Dreier JP
J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2020 Mar; 40(3):622-638.
PMID: 30819023.


Compromised Na/K-ATPase function is associated with the occurrence of spreading depolarization (SD). Mutations in ATP1A2, the gene encoding the α2 isoform of the Na/K-ATPase, were identified in patients with familial hemiplegic migraine type 2 (FHM2), a Mendelian model disease for SD. This suggests a distinct role for the α2 isoform in modulating SD susceptibility and raises questions about underlying mechanisms including the roles of other Na/K-ATPase α isoforms. Here, we investigated the effects of genetic ablation and pharmacological inhibition of α1, α2, and α3 on SD using heterozygous knock-out mice. We found that only α2 heterozygous mice displayed higher SD susceptibility when challenged with prolonged extracellular high potassium concentration ([K]), a pronounced post SD oligemia and higher SD speed in-vivo. By contrast, under physiological [K], α2 heterozygous mice showed similar SD susceptibility compared to wild-type littermates. Deficiency of α3 resulted in increased resistance against electrically induced SD in-vivo, whereas α1 deficiency did not affect SD. The results support important roles of the α2 isoform in SD. Moreover, they suggest that specific experimental conditions can be necessary to reveal an inherent SD phenotype by driving a (meta-) stable system into decompensation, reminiscent of the episodic nature of SDs in various diseases.