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Functional glycine receptors are expressed by postnatal nestin-positive neural stem/progenitor cells

Authors

  • Laurent Nguyen,

    1. Center for Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, University of Liège, 17 Place Delcour, B-4020 Liège, Belgium
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  • Brigitte Malgrange,

    1. Center for Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, University of Liège, 17 Place Delcour, B-4020 Liège, Belgium
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  • Shibeshih Belachew,

    1. Center for Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, University of Liège, 17 Place Delcour, B-4020 Liège, Belgium
    2. Department of Neurology, University of Liège, C.H.U. (B35) Sart Tilman, B-4000 Liège, Belgium
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  • Bernard Rogister,

    1. Center for Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, University of Liège, 17 Place Delcour, B-4020 Liège, Belgium
    2. Department of Neurology, University of Liège, C.H.U. (B35) Sart Tilman, B-4000 Liège, Belgium
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  • Véronique Rocher,

    1. Center for Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, University of Liège, 17 Place Delcour, B-4020 Liège, Belgium
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  • Gustave Moonen,

    1. Center for Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, University of Liège, 17 Place Delcour, B-4020 Liège, Belgium
    2. Department of Neurology, University of Liège, C.H.U. (B35) Sart Tilman, B-4000 Liège, Belgium
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  • Jean-Michel Rigo

    1. Center for Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, University of Liège, 17 Place Delcour, B-4020 Liège, Belgium
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: L. Nguyen, as above.
E-mail: laurent.nguyen@student.ulg.ac.be

Abstract

Multipotent neural stem and progenitor cells (NS/PCs) are well-established cell subpopulations occurring in the developing, and also in the mature mammalian nervous systems. Trophic and transcription factors are currently the main signals known to influence the development and the commitment of NS/PCs and their progeny. However, recent studies suggest that neurotransmitters could also contribute to neural development. In that respect, rodent-cultured embryonic NS/PCs have been reported to express functional neurotransmitter receptors. No similar investigation has, however, been made in postnatal and/or in adult rodent brain stem cells. In this study, using RT-PCR and immunocytochemical methods, we show that α1-, α2- and β-subunit mRNAs and α-subunit proteins of the glycine ionotropic receptor are expressed by 80.5 ± 0.9% of postnatal rat striatum-derived, nestin-positive cells within cultured neurospheres. Whole-cell patch-clamp experiments further demonstrated that glycine triggers in 33.5% of these cells currents that can be reversibly blocked by strychnine and picrotoxin. This demonstrates that NS/PCs express functional glycine receptors, the consequence(s) of their activation remaining unknown.

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