Toxin

How do toxins enter the body? When in the body, how do they enter the cells? A lot of toxins come in contact and are internalized by cells because of proteins/lipids that are present in the cell membrane. These molecules have sugar chains attached to them and these sugars are recognized by different lectins from the toxin. Once in contact, they bind and are internalized using different mechanisms. The chemical we used to stain cells in this series is from the Cholera toxin. Yes, you read it right. The toxin responsible for cholera infection aka massive and watery "traveler's diarrhea". So toxins don't only cause harm to the body, by understanding how they work, we can use their properties to make other chemicals that can be used to study the brain, other toxins, cell signaling and trafficking mechanisms, and even make art!

Toxin.

Figure 10. Lectin from cholera toxin (CTB lectin) used to stain mouse brain frozen tissue sections. Adult mouse brain stained with cholera toxin β sub-unit (1:100 dilution in 0.1% PBS-T) and viewed using Leica DM1 AF6000B. Green dots are cells with glycolipids that are recognized by CTB lectin. Glycolipids are lipids with sugar chains attached to them, these are present in the cell membrane and are important for recognition and internalization of toxins into cells.

Another
world.

Figure 12. Lectin from cholera toxin (CTB lectin) used to stain mouse brain frozen tissue sections. Adult mouse brain stained with cholera toxin β sub-unit (1:100 dilution in 0.1% PBS-T) and viewed using Leica DM1 AF6000B. Green dots are cells from the granular cell layer of the cerebellum.

Circles.

Figure 13. Lectin from cholera toxin (CTB lectin) used to stain mouse brain frozen tissue sections. Adult mouse brain stained with cholera toxin β sub-unit (1:100 dilution in 0.1% PBS-T) and viewed using Leica DM1 AF6000B. Green dots are cells from the granular cell layer and these circles represent the different lobes of the cerebellum.

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