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J Neurobiol. 1992 Jun;23(4):451-66.

S100 is present in developing chicken neurons and Schwann cells and promotes motor neuron survival in vivo.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Cincinnati School of Medicine, Ohio 45267-0521.


We used polyclonal antisera recognizing S100, a small acidic protein highly enriched in nervous tissue, to stain sections of embryonic chicken lumbosacral spinal cord and hindlimb. S100 immunoreactivity was detected in developing sensory neurons of the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and motor neurons of the ventral spinal cord as early as embryonic day (E) 5, and staining persisted through hatching. In contrast, expression of S100 first became apparent in Schwann cells at E13, just before myelination, and was not detected in developing skin or muscle. Since S100 beta was present in motor and sensory neurons and is known to promote neuronal survival and neurite extension in vitro (Winningham-Major, Staecker, Barger, Coats, and Van Eldik, 1989), we tested the ability of S100 to promote neuron survival in an in ovo survival assay. Addition of S100 to chick embryos in ovo during the period of naturally occurring motor neuron cell death resulted in a significant increase in motor neuron survival, but had no effect on the in vivo survival of sensory neurons in the DRG. The findings that S100 is present in spinal motor neurons and that the addition of S100 enhances the survival of these cells in vivo are consistent with the possibility that S100 may act as a naturally occurring neuron survival factor during development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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