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Eur J Neurosci. 2001 Aug;14(4):629-44.

Doublecortin expression in the adult rat telencephalon.

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Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Doublecortin (DCX) is a protein required for normal neuronal migration in the developing cerebral cortex, where it is widely expressed in both radially and tangentially migrating neuroblasts. Moreover, it has been observed in the adult rostral migratory stream, which contains the neuronal precursors traveling to the olfactory bulb. We have performed DCX immunocytochemistry in the adult rat brain to identify precisely the neuronal populations expressing this protein. Our observations confirm the presence of DCX immunoreactive cells with the characteristic morphology of migrating neuroblasts in the subventricular zone, rostral migratory stream and the main and accessory olfactory bulbs. We have also found putative migratory cells expressing DCX in regions were no adult neuronal migration has been described, as the corpus callosum, the piriform cortex layer III/endopiriform nucleus and the striatum. Surprisingly, many cells with the phenotype of differentiated neurons were DCX immunoreactive; e.g. certain granule neurons in the hilar border of the granular layer of the dentate gyrus, some neuronal types in the piriform cortex layer II, granule and periglomerular neurons in the main and accessory olfactory bulbs, and isolated cells in the striatum. Almost all DCX immunoreactive cells also express the polysialylated form of neural cell adhesion molecule and have a similar distribution to rat collapsin receptor-mediated protein-4, two molecules involved in neuronal structural plasticity. Given these results, we hypothesize that DCX expression in differentiated neurons could be related to its capacity for microtubule reorganization and that this fact could be linked to axonal outgrowth or synaptogenesis.

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