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Transgenic expression of B-50/GAP-43 in mature olfactory neurons triggers downregulation of native B-50/GAP-43 expression in immature olfactory neurons

Research group Verhaagen
Publication year 1999
Published in Molecular Brain Research
Authors Anthony J D G Holtmaat, C T Huizinga, F L Margolis, Willem Hendrik Gispen, J. Verhaagen

The adult mammalian olfactory neuroepithelium is an unusual neural tissue, since it maintains its capacity to form new neurons throughout life. Newly formed neurons differentiate in the basal layers of the olfactory neuroepithelium and express B-50/GAP-43, a protein implicated in neurite outgrowth. During maturation these neurons migrate into the upper portion of the epithelium, upregulate expression of olfactory marker protein (OMP) and concomitantly downregulate the expression of B-50/GAP-43. Transgenic mice that exhibit OMP-promoter directed expression of B-50/GAP-43 in mature olfactory neurons display an unexpected decrease in the complement of B-50/GAP-43-positive cells in the lower region of the olfactory epithelium [A.J.G.D. Holtmaat, P.A. Dijkhuizen, A.B. Oestreicher, H. J. Romijn, N.M.T. Van der Lugt, A. Berns, F.L. Margolis, W.H. Gispen, J. Verhaagen, Directed expression of the growth-associated protein B-50/GAP-43 to olfactory neurons in transgenic mice results in changes in axon morphology and extraglomerular growth, J. Neurosci. 15 (1995) 7953-7965]. We have investigated whether the decrement in B-50/GAP-43-positive cells in this region was due to a dislocation of the immature neurons to other regions of the olfactory epithelium or to a downregulation of B-50/GAP-43 synthesis in these immature neurons. In eight of nine independent transgenic mouse lines that express the transgene in different numbers of olfactory neurons, a decline in the number of B-50/GAP-43-expressing neurons in the basal portion of the olfactory neuroepithelium was observed, both at the protein level and the mRNA level. An alternative marker for immature cells, a juvenile form of tubulin, was normally expressed in this location, indicating that the olfactory epithelium of OMP-B-50/GAP-43 transgenic mice contains a normal complement of immature olfactory neurons and that most of these neurons display a downregulation of B-50/GAP-43 expression.

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