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Title: Antisense inhibition of BCL-2 expression induces retinoic acid-mediated cell death during differentiation of human NT2N neurons
Authors: Wang, S. 
Rosengren, L.E.
Hamberger, A.
Haglid, K.G.
Keywords: Antisense
Human CNS neurons
Retinoic acid
Issue Date: 2001
Citation: Wang, S., Rosengren, L.E., Hamberger, A., Haglid, K.G. (2001). Antisense inhibition of BCL-2 expression induces retinoic acid-mediated cell death during differentiation of human NT2N neurons. Journal of Neurochemistry 76 (4) : 1089-1098. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Changes in expression of the proto-oncogene Bcl-2 are well known in the developing brain, with a high expression level in young post-mitotic neurons that are beginning the outgrowth of processes. The physiological significance of the Bcl-2 up-regulation in these neurons is not fully understood. We used a differentiation model for human CNS neurons to study the expression and function of Bcl-2. NT2/D1 human neuronal precursor cells differentiated into a neuronal phenotype in the presence of 10 μM retinoic acid for 3-5 weeks. This concentration of retinoic acid was not toxic to undifferentiated NT2/D1 cells but was sufficient to up-regulate the BCL-2 protein in 6 days. The BCL-2 levels increased further after 3 weeks, i.e. when the cells started to show neuronal morphology. Inhibition of the accumulation of endogenous BCL-2 with vectors expressing the antisense mRNA of Bcl-2 caused extensive apoptosis after 3 weeks of the retinoic acid treatment. The loss of neuron-like cells from differentiating cultures indicated that the dead cells were those committed to neuronal differentiation. Death was related to the presence of retinoic acid since withdrawal of retinoic acid after 16 days of treatment dramatically increased cell surviving. The ability of BCL-2 to prevent retinoic acid-induced cell death was also confirmed in undifferentiated NT2/D1 cells that were transfected with a vector containing Bcl-2 cDNA in sense orientation and exposed to toxic doses (40-80 μM) of retinoic acid. Furthermore, down-regulation of BCL-2 levels by an antisense oligonucleotide in neuronally differentiated NT2/D1 cells increased their susceptibility to retinoic acid-induced apoptosis. These results indicate that one function of the up-regulation of endogenous BCL-2 during neuronal differentiation is to regulate the sensitivity of young post-mitotic neurons to retinoic acid-mediated apoptosis.
Source Title: Journal of Neurochemistry
ISSN: 00223042
DOI: 10.1046/j.1471-4159.2001.00142.x
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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