Francois Besnard

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Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is an intermediate-filament protein expressed abundantly and almost exclusively in astrocytes of the CNS. We are studying transcriptional regulation of the GFAP gene to gain insight into astrocyte function and also to develop an astrocyte-specific expression system for manipulating brain physiology. In this work, we(More)
In this paper, we report on the pharmacological and functional profile of SSR180711 (1,4-Diazabicyclo[3.2.2]nonane-4-carboxylic acid, 4-bromophenyl ester), a new selective alpha7 acetylcholine nicotinic receptor (n-AChRs) partial agonist. SSR180711 displays high affinity for rat and human alpha7 n-AChRs (K(i) of 22+/-4 and 14+/-1 nM, respectively). Ex vivo(More)
We present herein the cloning of the human nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha9-ortholog and the identification of a new alpha-like subunit (alpha10) that shares 58% identity with alpha9. Whereas alpha10 fails to produce functional receptors alone, it promoted robust acetylcholine-evoked currents when coinjected with alpha9. The presence of alpha10(More)
The gfa gene encodes glial fibrillary acidic protein, an intermediate filament protein found almost exclusively in astrocytes. Transient transfection studies with a chloramphenicol acetyltransferase reporter gene were used to identify regions of the gfa gene responsible for its expression. Three regions, A, B, and D, were found to be important. The D region(More)
To understand astrocyte-specific transcription, we have been studying the human gfa gene. This gene encodes glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), an intermediate filament protein expressed primarily in astrocytes. A survey of the gfa 5' flanking region showed it to contain several segments that contribute to expression of a chloramphenicol(More)
In our pursuit to identify selective ligands for Bz/GABA(A) receptor subtypes, a novel pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidine derivative (4), the azaisostere of zolpidem, was synthesized and evaluated in vitro on bovine brain homogenate and on recombinant benzodiazepine receptors (alphaxbeta2/3gamma2, x = 1-3, 5) expressed in HEK293 cells. Compound 4 displayed affinity(More)
Gene therapy using the herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase (HSV-TK) gene in combination with the drug ganciclovir (GCV) is a promising approach for the treatment of cancer-inducing gliomas, a tumor with a poor prognosis. In an attempt to limit the toxic effects on normal tissues, we constructed a recombinant adenoviral vector, Adgfa2TK, in which the(More)
Natural killer cells are well known to play an important role in immune defense against tumor development and viral infections. To further characterize new functionally relevant structures in these cells, we studied a series of monoclonal antibodies that we have raised against the NK cell line YT. One of these antibodies previously described as AY19,(More)
Interest in obtaining cell lines for use in studies on the development and biochemistry of the central nervous system has motivated efforts to establish cells from primary brain cultures by the use of oncogene-transfer techniques. In previous reports, cell lines derived from astrocytes in this way have had immature or abnormal phenotypes. We have explored(More)
The synthesis and the binding study of new 3-arylesters and 3-heteroarylpyrazolo[5,1-c][1,2,4]benzotriazine 5-oxide 8-substituted are reported. The nature of these substituents (in terms of lipophilic and electronic features) seems to influence the binding affinity. High-affinity ligands were studied in mice in vivo for their pharmacological effects,(More)