Ion channels in the membrane may regulate cell division.
All cells have a cell membrane that carries an electrical charge due to different concentrations of electrically charged ions inside and outside the cell. The concentration of ions are regulated and maintained by ion channels and ion transporters in the cell membrane that selectively distribute ions through the membrane. In a current project (Karolinska Institute, Sweden, CEITEC, Czech Republic) we are researching how ion channels in adult neural stem cells from the mouse brain function to regulate the cells ability to divide.
Picture 1 shows one neural stem cell. The ion channels of interest (HCN2) are labelled green and the cell nucleus blue. Pic 2 shows green labelled clock protein (Rev-erb alpha) may regulate day and night rhythm function in neural stem cells. Pic 3 shows clock protein labelled green in the hippocampus in mouse brain section where Pic 4 is an enlargement. The five following images shows rhythmic oscillation of Calcium within neural stem cells where cluster of cells seem to react group-wise upon stimulation by letting Ca2+ inside the cell (yellow and red areas).