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Neuroreport. 2001 Dec 21;12(18):3959-63.

Neurons in the monoaminergic nuclei of the rat and human central nervous system express FA1/dlk.

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1
Department of Immunology and Microbiology, University of Southern Denmark, Winslowparken 21, DK-5000 Odense C, Denmark.

Abstract

The gene DLK1 encodes a member of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) superfamily, delta-like (dlk). When exposed in vivo to the action of an unknown protease, this type 1 membrane protein generates a soluble peptide referred to as Fetal antigen 1 (FA1). By acting in juxtacrine as well as paracrine/autocrine manners, both forms have been shown to be active in the differentiation/proliferation process of various cell types. In adults, FA1/dlk has been demonstrated mainly within (neuro) endocrine tissues. In this study we investigated the presence of FA1/dlk in other parts of the developing and adult rat and human CNS. Using immunocytochemistry and in situ hybridization we found that in both species FA1/dlk was expressed in neurons of the Edinger-Westphal's nucleus as well as in substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area (VTA), locus coeruleus and in certain parts of the raphe nuclei.

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