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J Neurobiol. 2005 Mar;62(4):425-38.

Expression of PKC in the developing zebrafish, Danio rerio.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, CW-405 Biological Sciences Building, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2E9, Canada.


Protein kinase C (PKC) is a family of enzymes involved in a wide range of biological functions. We investigated the expression of PKC-positive cells in zebrafish embryos and larvae within the first week of development to determine the developmental profile of PKC-containing cells. Our other goal was to determine if PKC alpha was associated with Rohon-Beard neurons during the first 5 days of development, when they are reported to undergo apoptosis. First, we confirmed the specificity of the antibodies by Western blotting zebrafish brain homogenates with anti-PKC and anti-PKC alpha, and detected single protein bands of approximately 78-82 kDa in size. Immunohistochemistry showed that several types of neurons were labeled, including neurons in the trigeminal ganglia, the dorsal spinal cord, and the dorsal root ganglia. Double-labeling with anti-PKC alpha and both anti-Islet-1 and zn12 confirmed the identity of the PKC-positive cells in the brain as trigeminal neurons, and in the spinal cord as Rohon-Beard cells. Some Rohon-Beard cells were labeled with anti-PKC alpha up to 7 days post fertilization (dpf). We performed TUNEL labeling and found no correlation between TUNEL-labeled and PKC alpha-labeled Rohon-Beard cells, suggesting that PKC alpha is not involved in Rohon-Beard apoptosis. Only approximately 40% of the approximately 130 Rohon-Beard cells at 24 h postfertilization (hpf) were positively labeled for PKC. Mauthner cells were labeled by anti-PKC, but not anti-PKC alpha, suggesting that the major form of PKC within these cells was not PKC alpha.

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