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J Neurosci Res. 1995 Mar 1;40(4):439-50.

Expression and distribution of phosphorylated MAP1B in growing axons of cultured hippocampal neurons.

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Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Medical College of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19129, USA.


Microtubule associated proteins (MAPs) interact with tubulin to modulate neurite stability and growth during development. The phosphorylated form of one of these MAPs, MAP1B (MAP1B-P) is hypothesized to be of particular importance for the regulation of neurite outgrowth. To investigate the mechanisms by which MAP1B and MAP1B-P contribute to this regulation, we used a new antibody against an isoform of MAP1B-P to determine its pattern of expression during neuronal development in vitro. We examined cultured hippocampal neurons because these provide a well-established system to evaluate the development of axons and dendrites. MAP1B, MAP1B-P and MAP2 colocalized to the cell bodies and minor processes during the first 24 hours of culture, but MAP1B-P also extended well into the growth cones. As neurite outgrowth and differentiation proceeded, MAP1B and MAP1B-P became localized to the cell bodies and axons, and MAP2 to the cell bodies and dendrites. After 3 days, MAP1B-P declined in the cell body and was segregated to the distal axon; MAP1B remained in the cell body, but was also concentrated in the distal axon. Over 5-9 days in culture, MAP1B-P levels decreased and became undetectable; MAP1B levels decreased later (19-23 days). MAP2 levels, however, remained high through the entire culture period in cell bodies and dendrites. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that MAP1B-P plays an important role in the initiation and elongation of axons by regulating the dynamics of microtubules near the growth cone: MAP1B-P expression is greatest during the period of active neurite extension, is particularly prominent in growth cones where axon outgrowth is most active, and decreases along with the decline in active axon extension.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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