New reporter mouse strain offers powerful genetic tool to identify P2X2-expressing cells
TAMPA, Fla. (Aug. 7, 2020) -- Despite frequent news announcing "medical breakthroughs," advancements in biomedical and clinical science typically happen incrementally. Scientists refine our understanding of how the world works by harnessing new tools and data that can challenge conventional thinking - a continual process of revision that elicits new answers to old questions, and often poses different questions.
In an eNeuro paper published July 15, University of South Florida Health Morsani College of Medicine researchers describe a reporter mouse strain they created in pursuit of a new way to answer an old question: Is purinergic receptor gene P2X2 expressed in particular populations of sensory nerve cells?
"We needed a suitable mouse model to visualize where P2X2 is located so we might prove the gene is actually expressed in a very discrete group of sensory nerves. And because, moving forward, we want a reporter system that allows us to manipulate these vagal nodose nerves in precise, varied ways for therapeutic purposes," said senior author Thomas Taylor-Clark, PhD, a professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology.
"This paper is an example of how reexamining questions with better techniques leads to clearer understanding, and in this day and age the clarity and reproducibility of data is a paramount issue in science."
The P2X2 receptor (P2X2 for short) belongs to a family of P2X ion channels that sit on the surface of cell membranes and are activated by the neurotransmitter adenosine triphosphate (ATP). P2X2 plays a key role in sensory processes, including taste, hearing, some aspects of blood ...
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