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Dev Dyn. 1994 Nov;201(3):227-35.

Stage-specific expression of alkaline phosphatase during neural development in the mouse.

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La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation, Cancer Research Center, California 92037.


The expression pattern of tissue nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP) in the developing neural tube of mouse is reported. Homogeneous AP activity in the neuroepithelium becomes prominent at E8.5. At E9.5, distinctly AP-positive cells appear in the brain and spinal cord area. At stages E10.5 to E12.5, AP positivity is observed between the mesencephalon and the rhombencephalon, along the entire spinal cord and cranial nerves emerging from the myelencephalon. At E13.5, strongly AP positive fibers become prominent in the pons. At E14.5, AP expression in brain tissue is considerably reduced and there is a complete absence of AP activity in the nerve cells and glial cells of adult brain. The choroid plexus remains distinctly positive for AP expression until the adult stage. Northern blot analysis and reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction amplification of RNA indicate that this AP activity results from the expression of the Akp-2 locus. This AP expression pattern is distinct from those reported for the expression of GD3, nestin, Hox 2.3, and Wnt-1 during brain development. We conclude that AP is a useful marker of a subpopulation of neuroectodermal cells present in the neural tube as early as E8.5, at which stages there are no other AP positive intraembryonic cells except PGCs.

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