Kir6.2, the Pore-Forming Subunit of ATP-Sensitive K + Channels, Is Overexpressed in Human Posttraumatic Brain Contusions

Lidia Castro, Montoya Noelia, Marian Vidal-Jorge, David Sánchez-Ortiz, Darío Gándara, Elena Martínez-Saez, Marta Cicuéndez, Maria Antonia Poca, J. Marc Simard, Juan Sahuquillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

5 Citations (Scopus)


© 2019, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Brain contusions (BCs) are one of the most frequent lesions in patients with moderate and severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). BCs increase their volume due to peri-lesional edema formation and/or hemorrhagic transformation. This may have deleterious consequences and its mechanisms are still poorly understood. We previously identified de novo upregulation sulfonylurea receptor (SUR) 1, the regulatory subunit of adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-sensitive potassium (K ATP ) channels and other channels, in human BCs. Our aim here was to study the expression of the pore-forming subunit of K ATP , Kir6.2, in human BCs, and identify its localization in different cell types. Protein levels of Kir6.2 were detected by western blot (WB) from 33 contusion specimens obtained from 32 TBI patients aged 14-74 years. The evaluation of Kir6.2 expression in different cell types was performed by immunofluorescence in 29 contusion samples obtained from 28 patients with a median age of 42 years. Control samples were obtained from limited brain resections performed to access extra-axial skull base tumors or intraventricular lesions. Contusion specimens showed an increase of Kir6.2 expression in comparison with controls. Regarding cellular location of Kir6.2, there was no expression of this channel subunit in blood vessels, either in control samples or in contusions. The expression of Kir6.2 in neurons and microglia was also analyzed, but the observed differences were not statistically significant. However, a significant increase of Kir6.2 was found in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive cells in contusion specimens. Our data suggest that further research on SUR1-regulated ionic channels may lead to a better understanding of key mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of BCs, and may identify novel targeted therapeutic strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-175
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • brain contusion
  • brain edema
  • human
  • Kir6.2
  • SUR1


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