A part of a book
Brain spectrin isoforms during development of chick dorsal root ganglion cells in vivo and in vitro
Title of the book
Neurobiochemical transmitter pathways, adrenoreceptors and muscarinic receptors
Address of publication
Wegmann R.J., Wegmann M.A.
Recent Advances in Cellular and Molecular Biology
From the 1. World Congress of C.M.B. Paris, September 1-7, 1991
Brain spectrin is one of the major cytoskeletal proteins associated with the plasma membrane. In many tissues this protein occurs in a variety of isoforms, for which at least three have been described in the brain: i) brain spectrin 240/235 is localized in neurons most prominently in axons and is present early during brain development. ii) Brain spectrin 240/235E is immunologicaly related to erythrocyte spectrin and restricted to somato-dendritic regions in neurons and to glia. It appears late in brain development. iii) A third form, brain spectrin 240/ 235A, is found exclusively in astrocytes. In this study we have investigated the appearance and distribution of brain spectrins 240/235 and 240/235E during embryonic chick dorsal root ganglia development in vivo and in vitro. This system provides a unique model due to the lack of dendrites on developing sensory neurons. Both isoforms first appeared at embryonic day 6. Brain spectrin 240/235 increased transiently around embryonic day 10 and 14, and was first expressed in ventrolateral neurons. It was localized abundantly in perikarya and their axons. This somato-axonal distribution pattern found in situ was also observed in vitro. In contrast, brain spectrin 240/235E only slightly increased between E6 and E15 and remained unchanged thereafter. It was localized mainly in small neurons of the mediodorsal area, where it was found as punctate staining in the cytoplasm, forming first a nuclear cap and in subsequent stages becoming distributed evenly throughout cytoplasm. This brain spectrin isoform was absent from axons, both in situ and in vitro. In conclusion, this study suggests i) that brain spectrin 240/235 may contribute towards the outgrowth, elongation and possibly maintenance of axonal processes, ii) that brain spcctrin 240/235E could be involved in the stablization of the cytoarchilecture of cell bodies in a sclected population of ganglion cells, and iii) that isoform expression of brain spectrin 240/235E in DRG cells may depend on environmental factors.
Brain spectrin, ganglion cells, chick dorsal root ganglia
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