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BIOFYS-Fysiologiske og anatomiske fag

Characterization of electrical membrane properties during phagocytosis in eukaryotic cells

Tildelt: kr 1,4 mill.

The objective for this project is to study the process of phagocytosis, using the macrostome form of the polymorphic ciliate Tetrahymena vorax as a model organism. The process of phagocytosis in ciliates and mammalian cells has many features in common imp lying that this system arose early in evolution. Preliminary results indicate that the recognition of prey organisms in macrostomes is selective. We want to study if dissolved substances from the prey act as chemotactic molecules or if m acrostomes select the prey only after random contact. In ciliates, behavioural response and membrane potential are closely related. During phagocytosis the macrostomes swim backwards, and we want to study if this backward swimming corresponds to a depolar isation of the membrane. If depolarisation occurs, which ion(s) areinvolved and is it induced by interactions between the prey and receptors in the pouch? Furthermore, we want to address the following questions: What are the electrical properties of the m acrostomal phagosome membrane? Do the macrostomal phagosome membrane potential, capacitance and resistance change during digestion? What is the physiologic al relevance of the possible changes in electrical properties? Is the phagosome membrane supplied b y a membrane pool (from TGN) or by direct retrieval from the digestive vesicles?


BIOFYS-Fysiologiske og anatomiske fag

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