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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Dynamic spatiotemporal expression patterns of neurocan and phosphacan indicate diverse roles in the developing and adult mouse olfactory system.

The chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans neurocan and phosphacan are believed to modulate neurite outgrowth by binding to cell adhesion molecules, tenascin, and the differentiation factors heparin-binding growth-associated molecule and amphoterin. To assess the role of these chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans in the olfactory system, we describe here their expression patterns during both embryonic and postnatal development in the mouse. Immunoreactivity for neurocan was first detected in primary olfactory neurons at embryonic day 11. 5 (E11.5). Neurocan was expressed by primary olfactory axons as they extended toward the rostral pole of the telencephalon as well as by their arbors in glomeruli after they contacted the olfactory bulb. The role of neurocan was examined by growing olfactory neurons on an extracellular matrix substrate containing neurocan or on extracellular matrix in the presence of soluble neurocan. In both cases, neurocan strongly promoted neurite outgrowth. These results suggest that neurocan supports the growth of primary olfactory axons through the extracellular matrix as they project to the olfactory bulb during development. Phosphacan, unlike neurocan, was present within the mesenchyme surrounding the E11.5 and E12.5 nasal cavity. This expression decreased at E13.5, concomitant with a transient appearance of phosphacan in nerve fascicles. Within the embryonic olfactory bulb, phosphacan was localised to the external and internal plexiform layers. However, during early postnatal development phosphacan was concentrated in the glomerular layer. These results suggest that phosphacan may play a role in delineating the pathway of growing olfactory axons as well as defining the laminar organization of the bulb. Together, the spatiotemporal expression patterns of neurocan and phosphacan indicate that these chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans have diverse in situ roles, which are dependent on context-specific interactions with extracellular and cell adhesion molecules within the developing olfactory nerve pathway.[1]


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