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Neurochem Res. 2011 Dec;36(12):2363-72. doi: 10.1007/s11064-011-0562-7. Epub 2011 Aug 7.

Soluble NgR fusion protein modulates the proliferation of neural progenitor cells via the Notch pathway.

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Department of Emergency, The First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, 58 Zhongshan II, Guangzhou, 510080 Guangdong, China.


NogoA, myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG) and oligodendrocyte myelin glycoprotein are CNS myelin molecules that bind to the neuronal Nogo-66 receptor (NgR) and inhibit axon growth. The NgR antagonist, soluble NgR1-Fc protein (sNgR-Fc), facilitates axon regeneration by neutralizing the inhibitory effects of myelin proteins in experimental models of CNS injury. Here we aim to investigate the effect of sNgR-Fc on the proliferation of neural progenitor cells (NPCs). The hippocampus cells of embryonic rats were isolated and cultured in vitro. The expression of nestin, βIII-Tubulin, GFAP and Nogo-A on these cells was observed using immunocytochemistry. In order to investigate the effect on proliferation of NPCs, sNgR-Fc, MAG-Fc chimera and Notch1 blocker were added respectively. The total cell number for the proliferated NPCs was counted. BrdU was applied and the rate of proliferating cells was examined. The level of Notch1 was analyzed using Western blotting. We identified that NogoA is expressed in NPCs. sNgR-Fc significantly enhanced the proliferation of NPCs in vitro as indicated by BrdU labeling and total cell count. This proliferation effect was abolished by the administration of MAG suggesting specificity. In addition, we demonstrate that sNgR-Fc is a potent activator for Notch1 and Notch1 antagonist reversed the effect of sNgR-Fc on NPC proliferation. Our results suggest that sNgR-Fc may modulate Nogo activity to induce NPC proliferation via the Notch pathway.

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