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J Neurochem. 2010 Sep;114(6):1756-66. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2010.06891.x. Epub 2010 Aug 3.

Oleic acid synthesized in the periventricular zone promotes axonogenesis in the striatum during brain development.

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Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Instituto de Neurociencias de Castilla y León, INCYL, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain.


Our previous works showed that oleic acid synthesized in vitro by astrocytes in response to albumin behaves as a neurotrophic factor in neurons, up-regulating several proteins, such as the axonal growth marker growth-associated protein 43(GAP-43). Although the molecular mechanism of this process is fairly known, there is no evidence pinpointing the region/s in which oleic acid is synthesized. In this study, we show that the rate-limiting enzyme in oleic acid synthesis, stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD-1), is located in the periventricular zone of the brain of newborn rats, simultaneously to an increase in the amount of free oleic acid in the forebrain. In addition, the spatio-temporal presence of albumin - the signal that promotes oleic acid synthesis - and that of GAP-43 are correlated with that of SCD-1. Using organotypic slice cultures, we found that albumin up-regulates SCD-1 and stimulates the growth of GAP-43-positive axons in the striatum. The effect of albumin on GAP-43 was reduced when SCD-1 was silenced by siRNA. In conclusion, our results suggest that albumin up-regulates axonogenesis in the striatum by increasing the amount of the neurotrophic factor oleic acid synthesized by SCD-1 in the periventricular zone of the newborn brain.

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