Exploring the Role of xCT in Neuroregeneration through Laser Ablation of Zebrafish Neurons

Student Author(s)

Nicole Ladd

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Brent Krueger, Dr. Leah Chase, and Dr. Aaron Putzke

Document Type


Event Date



System xc– is a heterodimeric amino acid transporter comprised of a light chain unit, xCT, which confers the transport specificity, and a heavy chain unit, 4F2HC, and has been shown to facilitate the exchange of intracellular glutamate for extracellular cystine. Within the cell, cystine is rapidly reduced to cysteine, the rate limiting reagent for glutathione (GSH) production. GSH is an endogenous reducing reagent that is an important in mitigating the oxidative stress that can develop within cells which, untreated, can trigger cell death. It has been shown that system xc– is strongly expressed in the central nervous system, particularly in activated neuroprotective cells such as astrocytes and glia. It is believed that relief of oxidative stress in the environment of neurons and their protective counterparts is critical in processes such as neuroregeneration, an ability unique to teleost fish, including zebrafish. Using this information, the thrust of the current study is to identify the role that xCT plays in neuroregeneration in vivo. To initiate neuroregeneration, we will use a femtosecond laser to perform ablation on zebrafish neurons. Confocal microscopy will be used to observe the trafficking of an xCT:GFP fusion protein during the neuroregeneration process.


This research was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF RUI #0843564 and NSF RUI #1058981).

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