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Exp Neurol. 2001 Feb;167(2):215-26.

ST14A cells have properties of a medium-size spiny neuron.

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The Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, New York 10962-2210, USA.


The ST14A cell line was previously derived from embryonic day 14 rat striatal primordia by retroviral transduction of the temperature-sensitive SV40 large T antigen. We showed that cell division and expression of nestin persists at 33 degrees C, the permissive temperature, whereas cell division ceases, nestin expression decreases, and MAP2 expression increases at the nonpermissive temperature of 39 degrees C. In this study, we further characterized the cells and found that they express other general and subtype-specific neuronal characteristics. ST14A cells express enolase and beta III-tubulin. Furthermore, they express the striatal marker DARPP-32, which is up-regulated upon differentiation of the cells by growth in serum-free medium. Stimulation with dopamine, the D2-dopamine receptor agonist quinpirole, or the D1-dopamine receptor agonist SKF82958 results in phosphorylation of CREB. Treatment of the cells with a mixture of reagents which stimulate the MAPK and adenylyl cyclase pathways radically changes the morphology of the ST14A cells. The cells develop numerous neurite-like appearing processes which stain with beta III-tubulin. Moreover, under these conditions, intracellular injection of rectangular depolarizing current stimuli elicits overshooting action potentials with a relatively fast depolarization rate when starting from a strongly hyperpolarized membrane potential. Taken together, these data imply that the ST14A cell line displays some of the characteristics of a medium-size spiny neuron subtype and provides a new tool to elucidate the pathways and molecules involved in medium-size spiny neuron differentiation and disease.

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