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Neurosci Lett. 2006 Apr 24;397(3):210-3. Epub 2006 Jan 6.

Epidermal growth factor (EGF) expression in lateral line system and in taste buds of adult zebrafish (Brachidanio rerio).

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Dipartimento di Morfologia, Biochimica, Fisiologia e Produzione Animale, Sezione di Morfologia, Università di Messina, Polo Universitario Annunziata, 98168 Messina, Italy.


The mechano and chemosensory organs of adult teleosts undergoes a continuous cell renewal and turnover which is regulated in part by growth factors. Here, we investigated the occurrence and the cell localization of epidermal growth factor (EGF) in the lateral line system and taste bud of adult zebrafish, using Western blot and immunohistochemistry associated to a polyclonal antibody against mammalian EGF. Furthermore, the distribution of S100 protein was studied in parallel to label hair sensory cells in the lateral line system. Western blot revealed one unique protein band with an estimated molecular weight of about 13 kDa, equivalent to the EGF of mammals. Specific immunoreactivity for EGF was observed in the epithelial basal and/or supporting cells of the neuromasts of the lateral line system and taste buds. Conversely, the sensory cells in both sensory structures were devoid of immunostaining. Present results demonstrate the occurrence of EGF in mechano and sensory system of adult zebrafish, suggesting a role for this molecule in the cell renewal and turnover of these structures.

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