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

Distribution of immunoreactivity for cytoskeletal (microtubule, microtubule-associated, and neurofilament) proteins in adult human dorsal root ganglia.

BACKGROUND: The cytoskeleton of mature neurons consists of three main types of filamentous structures: microtubules (or neurotubules) neurofilaments and microfilaments, and of the so-called associated proteins. Neurotubules are formed by alpha- and beta-tubulin; neurofilaments are comprised of three protein subunits (68, 160, and 200 kDa of molecular weight), referred to here as neurofilament proteins (NFPs). The microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) and tau-proteins form cross bridges between microtubules and other cytoskeletal constituents, as well as cellular organelles. This study analyzes the distribution of several cytoskeletal proteins in adult human dorsal root ganglia (DRG). METHODS: Sections of formaldehyde-fixed, paraffin-embedded adult human DRG were processed for PAP immunohistochemistry. Mouse monoclonal antibodies against specific epitopes of alpha- and beta-tubulin, MAP-1, MAP-2, MAP-5, tau-protein, and NFPs (68, 160, and 200 kDa) were used. Furthermore, a quantitative image analysis (optic microdensitometry) was performed to establish the relationship between neuronal size and intensity of immunostaining. RESULTS: Most of DRG neuron cell bodies displayed immunoreactivity for all assessed antibodies, with the exception of MAP2, which was absent. Nevertheless, the neuronal perikarya showed an heterogeneous pattern of immunoreactivity, which was not related to neuronal profile size. Positive immunolabelling was also observed in satellite cells and Schwann cells for microtubule and MAP1 proteins, and for tau-protein in Schwann cells. CONCLUSIONS: Adult human primary sensory neurons in DRG express immunoreactivity for neurotubule and neurofilament proteins, as well as for some microtubule-associated proteins. However, since large heterogeneity was observed in the expression of those proteins, we conclude that the expression of cytoskeletal proteins is not a criterion to establish DRG neuronal subtypes.[1]


  1. Distribution of immunoreactivity for cytoskeletal (microtubule, microtubule-associated, and neurofilament) proteins in adult human dorsal root ganglia. Naves, F.J., Huerta, J.J., Garcia-Suarez, O., Urdangaray, N., Esteban, I., Del Valle, M.E., Vega, J.A. Anat. Rec. (1996) [Pubmed]
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