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Jpn J Vet Res. 2000 Feb;47(3-4):127-33.

Postnatal changes in Rho and Rho-related proteins in the mouse brain.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan.


To provide information on the role of Rho, a GTP-binding protein, in postnatal development of the brain cells, the change in the levels of Rho protein and Rho-related proteins was examined in the brain of mice for two weeks after birth, in parallel with the changes in the activity of marker enzymes for neuronal and glial cells. The activities of acetylcholine esterase and choline acetyltransferase of whole brain homogenate, both of which are neuronal marker enzymes, were progressively increased in an age-dependent manner. The activity of 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphohydrolase, a glial marker enzyme, increased markedly between one and two weeks after birth. In contrast, the levels of RhoA and RhoB in the membrane fraction were decreased during the postnatal period. The amount of Rho GDP dissociation inhibitor, a regulatory protein for Rho, was unchanged, while those of Rho target proteins, Rock-2 and citron, were gradually increased. Since the inactivation of Rho is known to induce neurite extension and neuronal and glial differentiation in vitro, our results suggest that the Rho signalling pathway plays a regulatory role in the postnatal differentiation of neuronal and glial cells in vivo.

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