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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1994 Mar 29;91(7):2644-8.

Overexpression of the beta 1 thyroid receptor induces differentiation in neuro-2a cells.

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Department of Ontogenesis and Molecular Genetics, Centre Hospitalier de l'Université Laval, Sainte-Foy, Canada.


To determine the functions of the alpha 1 and beta 1 thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) in neural differentiation, we have established stable transfected neuronal cell lines (Neuro-2a) that overexpress either TR alpha 1 or TR beta 1. 3,5,3'-Triiodothyronine (T3) treatment of cells that overexpress TR beta 1 blocks proliferation by an arrest of cells in G0/G1 and induces morphological and functional differentiation of Neuro-2a cells as indicated by the marked increase in the number of perisomatal filopodia-like neurites and in acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity. The effect on AChE activity was dose-dependent, and the time-course analysis reveals that this effect occurs after 24 hr of T3 treatment, with a maximal increase occurring after 48 hr of treatment. The increase of AChE activity is paralleled by an increase of AChE mRNAs. Last, we present evidence that shows that the effects of T3 on differentiation are independent of its effect on proliferation. T3 had no effect on the differentiation of Neuro-2a cells that overexpressed TR alpha 1. Our results indicate that TR beta 1 may play a key role in the effects of T3 in neuroblastoma cell differentiation.

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