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

The blue copper ceruloplasmin induces aggregation of newly differentiated neurons: a potential modulator of nervous system organization.

Ceruloplasmin (CP) is a copper-dependent ferroxidase. It regulates iron metabolism and is involved in inflammation, angiogenesis, and protection against oxidative stress. CP also modulates K(+) channel activity in neuroblastoma cells and affects cardiodynamics of isolated hearts. Considering the presence of CP in the nervous system and the importance of iron ions and K(+) channels in neuronal activity, we postulated a role of CP in neuronal development. This hypothesis was tested using the P19 mouse embryonal carcinoma cell line, a model of neuronal differentiation. Addition of CP to the culture medium of newly differentiated P19 neurons induced cell aggregation within 24 h. This effect was concentration-dependent half-maximal at 50 nM, and not associated with necrosis, apoptosis or changes in secretory function. Deglycosylated CP was aggregative but not denatured CP, copper salts, His(2)Cu complex, or other copper enzymes or serum proteins. CP-induced aggregation was less pronounced with aging neurons and seemed not to involve K(+) channels. Immunocytofluorescence analysis demonstrated that digoxigenin-labeled CP bound to P19 neurons and the proportion of responding neurons decreased with aging. The interaction of digoxigenin-labeled CP with neurons was half-maximal at 120 nM by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and displaced by unlabeled CP. Our data indicate a specific aggregative action of CP on young neurons in vitro, possibly involving CP receptors. A potential developmental role of CP in nervous system organization is thus demonstrated.[1]


  1. The blue copper ceruloplasmin induces aggregation of newly differentiated neurons: a potential modulator of nervous system organization. Maltais, D., Desroches, D., Aouffen, M., Mateescu, M.A., Wang, R., Paquin, J. Neuroscience (2003) [Pubmed]
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