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

Mapping heparanase expression in the spinal cord of adult rats.

This work addresses the cellular localization of heparanase and its colocalization with syndecan-3, a transmembrane heparan sulfate proteoglycan in spinal cords of adult rats. Reverse transcriptase/polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and in situ hybridization for the heparanase transcript revealed expression in neurons and white matter glia. This was confirmed by immunohistochemistry showing cytoplasmic localization of the heparanase protein. Double immunofluorescence for heparanase and syndecan-3 revealed colocalization of the proteins in cell bodies of neurons and oligodendrocytes, suggestive of constitutive expression in these cell types. In contrast, only subpopulations of astrocytes and NG2- expressing glia in the white matter expressed heparanase, and these did not show expression of syndecan-3. Cultures of astrocytes further evidenced upregulation of heparanase expression with TGF-beta(1) treatment, but no accompanying upregulation of syndecan-3 was detectable. These first findings of heparanase expression in the adult cord therefore provide the cellular basis for understanding functional interactions of heparanase and syndecan-3 in the normal neural network or otherwise in glial reactions to spinal cord injury.[1]


  1. Mapping heparanase expression in the spinal cord of adult rats. Zhang, Y., Yeung, M.N., Liu, J., Chau, C.H., Chan, Y.S., Shum, D.K. J. Comp. Neurol. (2006) [Pubmed]
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