Immunohistochemical analysis of Disc1 expression in the developing and adult hippocampus.
In recent years, Disrupted-In-Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) has emerged as one of the most promising candidate genes whose disruption confers an increased risk for schizophrenia. Cell biology studies have implicated DISC1 in key neurodevelopmental processes including neurite outgrowth and neuronal migration. In situ hybridization analysis has revealed that Disc1 is expressed in the hypothalamus, olfactory bulbs, the developing cerebral cortex and the hippocampus. The hippocampus is of particular interest because abnormalities in hippocampal volume and function have been consistently reported in schizophrenics. Moreover, DISC1 mutations have been associated with abnormal activation of the hippocampus in humans. Given the involvement of the hippocampus in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, there is an intriguing possibility that disruption of DISC1 may increase schizophrenia susceptibility by altering the normal development and function of the hippocampus. In order to contribute to our understanding of DISC1's role in the hippocampus, we have performed a detailed analysis of the Disc1 expression pattern in the mouse hippocampus throughout development. We report that Disc1 is expressed throughout the hippocampus during embryonic development, with expression becoming increasingly specialized in Ammon's horn and dentate gyrus granule cells within the first postnatal week. This expression pattern remains consistent into adulthood, with a noted decrease in Disc1 expression in the adult CA1. Disc1 is also expressed in proliferating cells in the adult subgranular zone, as well as in a subset of GABAergic interneurons. Our results are the first report of a detailed immunohistochemical analysis of the ontogeny of Disc1 expression within the hippocampus.
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