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Ectopic dendrite initiation: CNS pathogenesis as a model of CNS development

, : Ectopic dendrite initiation: CNS pathogenesis as a model of CNS development. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience 20(3-5): 373-389, July-August

The neuronal storage diseases are a rare group of disorders with profound clinical consequences including severe mental retardation and death in early childhood. A subset of these disorders, those with elevated levels of GM2 ganglioside, are further characterized by the reinitiation of primary dendrites on mature cortical neurons. These ectopic dendrites are unusual as primary dendrite initiation is normally confined to a narrow developmental window. Thus, ectopic dendritogenesis appears to be a recapitulation of the normal developmental program temporally displaced. Consequently, understanding ectopic dendritogenesis should offer insights into both the pathogenesis of the neuronal storage diseases as well as mechanisms of normal CNS development. Using a feline model of GM2 gangliosidosis, we compared patterns of gene expression in normal newborn and mature diseased animals (both undergoing active primary dendritogenesis) with normal, mature controls (where primary dendritogenesis has ceased). From this work, we have identified two genes that appear to function in primary dendrite initiation. One, tomoregulin, is an integral membrane protein with both EGF- and follistatin-like motifs in its extracellular domain. The second, Tristanin, is a member of the positive regulatory domain (PRD) family of a zinc-finger transcription factors. Both genes are up regulated in the disease state, and both show a shift in their intracellular location to the nucleus in diseased animals that is not observed in age matched controls. In normal mouse brain, tomoregulin and Tristanin reveal developmental patterns consistent with a role in dendrite initiation and show changes in subcellular localization similar to that observed in the cat.


PMID: 12175877

DOI: 10.1016/s0736-5748(02)00055-2

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