The absence of pleiotrophin modulates gene expression in the hippocampusin vivoand in cerebellar granule cellsin vitro

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Abstract

Pleiotrophin (PTN) is a secreted growth factor recently proposed to act as a neuromodulatory peptide in the Central Nervous System. PTN appears to be involved in neurodegenerative diseases and neural disorders, and it has also been implicated in learning and memory. Specifically, PTN-deficient mice exhibit a lower threshold for LTP induction in the hippocampus, which is attenuated in mice overexpressing PTN. However, there is little information about the signaling systems recruited by PTN to modulate neural activity. To address this issue, the gene expression profile in hippocampus of mice lacking PTN was analyzed using microarrays of 22,000 genes. In addition, we corroborated the effect of the absence of PTN on the expression of these genes by silencing this growth factor in primary neuronal cultures in vitro. The microarray analysis identified 102 genes that are differentially expressed (z-score > 3.0) in PTN null mice, and the expression of eight of those modified in the hippocampus of KO mice was also modified in vitro after silencing PTN in cultured neurons with siRNAs. The data obtained indicate that the absence of PTN affects AKT pathway response and modulates the expression of genes related with neuroprotection (Mgst3 and Estrogen receptor 1, Ers 1) and cell differentiation (Caspase 6, Nestin, and Odz4), both in vivo and in vitro.

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