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J Neurochem. 2006 Apr;97(2):345-55. Epub 2006 Mar 15.

ABCA2 is a marker of neural progenitors and neuronal subsets in the adult rodent brain.

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  • 1Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille Luminy INSERM CNRS, Université de la Méditerranée Marseille, France.


The notion that the ATP-binding cassette transporter-A2 (ABCA2) may be involved in brain sterol homeostasis and is associated with early onset Alzheimer's disease led us to explore its neural expression. Our data support and extend the previous reports on ABCA2 expression by oligodendrocytes. They evidence that ABCA2 (i) is located in intracellular vesicles, identified in transfected cells as lysosome-related organelles only partially overlapping with classical endolysosomes; (ii) is a marker of neural progenitors as it is expressed in the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricle and the dentate gyrus of the hippocampal formation, sites of continual neurogenesis in the adult brain, and in nestin(+) cells differentiated in vitro from embryonic stem cells; (iii) persists, in the adult rodent brain, in a subset of GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons. Considering that the latter are targets of Alzheimer's lesions, these data provide a new rationale to explore the neuropathological consequences of ABCA2 functional dysregulations.

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