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J Comp Neurol. 2007 Nov 1;505(1):1-17.

Differential expression of peroxisomal matrix and membrane proteins during postnatal development of mouse brain.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology II, Division of Medical Cell Biology, Justus Liebig University of Giessen, 35385 Giessen, Germany.


In peroxisomal biogenesis disorders, serious neurological abnormalities can be observed in the patients and the respective knockout mouse models. As a prerequisite for a better understanding of the relationship between the absence of peroxisomes and the observed neuropathology, knowledge of the regional and cell-type specific distribution of peroxisomal proteins in mouse brain is necessary. Therefore, we investigated the expression of distinct peroxins, peroxisomal membrane and matrix proteins (e.g. Pex5p, Pex14p, Pex13p, PMP70, catalase, peroxisomal thiolase, Acox1, "SKL"-PTS1 proteins) by indirect immunofluorescence 1) in primary cultures of the medial neocortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum of newborn mice and 2) in paraffin sections of mouse brain of different ages (newborn-adult). Quantitative analysis revealed a comparable abundance (number/microm(2)) of peroxisomes in cultured neurons and astrocytes of all three brain regions. In contrast, catalase immunoreactivity was higher in cultured astrocytes than in neurons. In mouse brain tissue, the abundance of peroxisomes decreased by half during postnatal development, also exhibiting prominent differences between distinct brain regions and cell types. Catalase protein levels in neuronal peroxisomes, however, decreased much more strongly in the neocortex, CA1-3 areas of the hippocampus, dentate gyrus, cerebellar nuclei, and cerebellar cortex but remained high in Bergmann glia and other astrocytes, epithelial cells of the choroid plexus, and ependyma. Similar age-dependent changes were found for thiolase and Acox1 protein levels. Developmental changes were confirmed by Western blot analysis using enriched peroxisomal and cytosolic fractions of the brain tissue as well as by measurement of catalase activity.

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