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Neurosci Lett. 2006 Jun 19;401(1-2):71-6. Epub 2006 Mar 29.

Antioxidant Cu/Zn SOD: expression in postnatal brain progenitor cells.

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Department of Cell Biology, Physiology and Immunology, Unit of Medical Histology, and Institute of Neurosciences, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain.


Precursor cells have been shown to be affected by oxidative stress, in vivo and vitro, but little is known about the expression of antioxidant mechanisms in neuronal/glial differentiation. We have characterized the expression of Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (Cu/Zn SOD), one of the main antioxidant proteins involved in the breakdown of superoxide, in the immature rat dorsolateral subventricular zone (SVZ), rostral migratory stream (RMS) and hippocampal subgranular zone (SGZ). Progenitor cells were identified immunohistochemically on cryostat sections by 5'Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation and expressing cells were further characterized using double labeling for progenitor markers. In the SVZ, only a subpopulation of BrdU+ cells, mostly found in the medial SVZ, expressed Cu/Zn SOD. These cells were mostly nestin+ and some were also vimentin+. In contrast, in the lateral SVZ few Cu/Zn SOD+/BrdU+ cells were found. These were primarily nestin+, vimentin-, showed some PSA-NCAM expression, but only a few were NG2+. In the RMS and SGZ virtually all BrdU+ progenitors were Cu/Zn SOD+ and expressed nestin and vimentin. Some RMS cells were also PSA-NCAM+. These findings show a heterogeneous expression of Cu/Zn SOD in restricted cell types in the germinative zones and suggest a role for antioxidant Cu/Zn SOD in progenitor cells of the immature rat brain.

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