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The expression of a motoneuron-specific serine protease, motopsin (PRSS12), after facial nerve axotomy in mice.

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  • 1Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kawaramachi-Hirokoji, Kyoto 602-8566, Japan.


Motopsin (PRSS12) is a mosaic serine protease that is preferentially expressed in motor neurons. To study the relationship between motopsin and motoneuron function, we investigated the expression of motopsin mRNA in facial nerve nuclei after facial nerve axotomy at the anterior margin of the parotid gland in mice. Neuronal function was monitored by assessing vibrissal motion in 3 months. Vibrissal behaviour on the injured side disappeared until the day 14 post-operation, and then recovered between the day 21 and 35. Motopsin expression decreased at the day 14, but markedly recovered by the day 21. In contrast, expression of growth-associated protein-43 (GAP-43) was induced at the day 3. These results suggest that the recovery of motopsin expression is correlated with the recovery of the facial motor neuronal function.

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