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Keywords:

  • Slit;
  • reactive astrocyte;
  • gliosis;
  • brain injury;
  • glypican-1

Abstract

The slit family serves as a repellent for growing axons toward correct targets during neural development. A recent report describes slit mRNAs expressed in various brain regions in adult rats. However, their functions in the adult nervous system remain unknown. In the present study, we investigated whether slit mRNAs were expressed in the cryo-injured brain, using in situ hybridization. All slit family members were expressed at the lesion. Slit2 mRNA was the most intensely expressed in the cells surrounding the necrotic tissue. A double-labeling study showed that slit2 mRNA was expressed in the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive reactive astrocytes. In addition, glypican-1, a heparan sulfate proteoglycan that serves as a high-affinity receptor for Slit protein, was coexpressed with slit2 mRNA in the reactive astrocytes. These findings suggested that slit2 might prevent regenerating axons from entering into the lesion in concert with glypican-1. GLIA 42:130–138, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.