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Mol Cell Neurosci. 2003 Nov;24(3):603-13.

Transient calretinin expression defines early postmitotic step of neuronal differentiation in adult hippocampal neurogenesis of mice.

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Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch, Robert-Rössle-Strasse 10, 13125 Berlin, Germany.


We here show that the early postmitotic stage of granule cell development during adult hippocampal neurogenesis is characterized by the transient expression of calretinin (CR). CR expression was detected as early as 1 day after labeling dividing cells with bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), but not before. Staining for Ki-67 confirmed that no CR-expressing cells were in cell cycle. Early after BrdU, CR colocalized with immature neuronal marker doublecortin; and later with persisting neuronal marker NeuN. BrdU/CR-labeled cells were negative for GABA and GABAA1 receptor, but early on expressed granule cell marker Prox-1. After 6 weeks, no new neurons expressed CR, but all contained calbindin. Stimuli inducing adult neurogenesis have limited (enriched environment), strong (voluntary wheel running), and very strong effects on cell proliferation (kainate-induced seizures). In these models the induction of cell proliferation was paralleled by an increase of CR-positive cells, indicating the stimulus-dependent progression from cell division to a postmitotic stage.

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