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Neuroreport. 1995 Sep 11;6(13):1766-8.

DNA fragmentation and activation of c-Jun in the cerebellum of mutant mice (weaver, Purkinje cell degeneration).

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Universität Heidelberg, II. Physiologisches Institut, Germany.


Weaver and Purkinje cell degeneration (pcd) are autosomal recessive mutations in the mouse characterized by an almost complete loss of cerebellar Purkinje neurones and granule cells, respectively. Developmental neuronal death occurs by activation of an apoptotic pathway and chromatin condensation has been observed in degenerating granule cells of weaver mutants. In the present study we demonstrate nuclear DNA fragmentation in Purkinje cells of pcd mice and in granule cells of weaver mutants during the period of neuronal degeneration using in situ end labelling by terminal transferase and fluorescein-dUTP. Furthermore, activation of candidate cell death effector gene c-jun has been detected exclusively within the affected cell populations by immunohistochemistry. Both labelled DNA fragments and nuclear c-Jun immunoreactivity were virtually absent in wild-type animals. Thus, genetically determined cell death in pcd and weaver mutant mice has features of apoptosis and may require activation of cell death effector genes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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