Expression of cln3 in human NT2 neuronal precursor cells and neonatal rat brain.
During brain development, excess neurons that are formed die by apoptosis. cln3 was recently identified as the gene defective in juvenile Batten disease, an inherited neurodegenerative disease of childhood. In this disease, neurons die by apoptosis. Overexpression of this gene increases survival of human NT2 neuronal precursor cells. We, therefore, hypothesized that cln3 may be present in developing neurons and may play an important role in regulating the developmental process. NT2 neuronal cells were induced to develop into mature neurons. We evaluated cln3 expression by reverse transcription PCR and immunohistochemistry over a 7-wk period of differentiation. Also, cln3 expression was characterized in neonatal rat brain during the first week of life (P-1, P0, P4, and P8) and at P30. cln3 was differentially expressed during neuronal development into nondividing post-mitotic neurons. The greatest expression was noted during wk 6 and then dropped to predifferentiation levels during wk 7. cln3 expression was detected in all the rat brain developmental stages evaluated. The greatest expression was seen at P0 and was double compared with the other stages. We conclude that cln3 is present during critical periods of neuronal cell differentiation and brain development. As cln3 is antiapoptotic, we hypothesize that cln3 plays an important role in regulating brain development. These findings may have implications for identifying strategies aimed at neuroprotection and neuronal survival during development.
Pane, MA; Puranam, KL; Boustany, RM
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