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Biol Cell. 1991;71(1-2):57-65.

Mitochondrial maturation during neuronal differentiation in vivo and in vitro.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Biochimie Cellulaire, URA 1115 CNRS, Collège de France, Paris.


The evolution of the mitochondrion has been followed within differentiating neuronal cells, both in primary cultures of neurons from fetal rat cortex and during rat brain cortex maturation. Changes in total mitochondrial proteins (mt-proteins) were evaluated, and qualitative changes in the mt-proteins pattern were analyzed using the Western blot technique. The evolution of mt-protein contents in cultured neurons resembles what is observed during rat brain maturation. The mitochondrion exhibits pronounced changes in the course of neurogenesis, in particular, bursts of mitochondrial masses accompanying the successive steps of neurogenesis are observed. There are indications that protein equipment of mitochondria during neuronal development undergoes variations. Although more work is required to establish the significance of these correlations, the present data might suggest an important role of the mitochondrion in neurogenesis.

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