Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Abstract: The molecular mechanisms underlying cell cycle control in neuronal progenitors have been investigated with adult mouse olfactory epithelium as a model system. Odorreceptive neurons of mammalian olfactory epithelium are short-lived and renewed in the adult by mitotic division of intrinsic neuronal progenitors. Ablation of the synaptic target, olfactory bulb, induces sequentially extensive apoptosis of sensory neurons and then stimulation of progenitor proliferation, peaking at 36 h and 4 days, respectively, postlesion. Known molecular effectors of G1 phase entry have been assessed on protein extracts of olfactory organs sampled at various postbulbectomy times in adult mice. The decay of βIII-tubulin and olfactory marker protein levels and the rise of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) levels, starting 1 and 3 days, respectively, postlesion, provided the kinetic frame of neuronal dynamics. Cyclin D1, cyclin E, and cyclin-dependent kinase cdk2 levels, low in olfactory organ of intact mice, increased 3 days after bulbectomy in parallel with PCNA levels; cdk4 content was initially high and unaffected by lesioning. Western blots of the known cdk inhibitors revealed proliferation-related decreases of p18, p21, and p27 from high expression in intact organs. Immunoprecipitation of cdk2 and cdk4 fractions of protein extracts at 4 days postlesion (mitotic reaction peak) versus control, followed by cyclin D1 immunoblotting, and vice versa, revealed that levels of both cyclin D1/cdk2 and cyclin D1/cdk4 complexes, as well as their kinase activities, were dramatically increased after lesion. In vivo proliferation of olfactory neuronal lineage cells thus involves functional binding of cyclin D1 with cdk2 and cdk4, with differential activation mechanisms for cdk2 and cdk4. In addition, the RT-PCR-detected cyclin D1 mRNA level remained unaffected after bulbectomy, which indicated that the cyclin D1 rise should involve posttranscriptional mechanisms in this in vivo neuronal system. These observations are discussed, along with their relevance to cell cycle control and to olfactory neuron dynamics.
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