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Exp Neurol. 2002 Oct;177(2):396-406.

Up-regulation of cadherin-2 and cadherin-4 in regenerating visual structures of adult zebrafish.

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Department of Biology, University of Akron, Akron, Ohio 44325-3908, USA.


Cadherins are homophilic cell adhesion molecules that control development of a variety of tissues and maintenance of adult structures. In this study, we examined expression of zebrafish cadherin-2 (Cdh2, N-cadherin) and cadherin-4 (Cdh4, R-cadherin) in the visual system of adult zebrafish after eye or optic nerve lesions using immunocytochemistry and immunoblotting. Both Cdh2 and Cdh4 immunoreactivities were specifically up-regulated in regenerating retina and/or the optic pathway. Furthermore, temporal expression patterns of these two cadherins were distinct during the regeneration of the injured tissues. Cadherins have been shown to regulate axonal outgrowth in the developing nervous system, but this is the first report, to our knowledge, of increased cadherin expression associated with axonal regeneration in the vertebrate central nervous system. Our results suggest that both Cdh2 and Cdh4 may be important for regeneration of injured retinal ganglion cell axons.

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