• axonal growth;
  • mouse;
  • neurogenesis;
  • neuronal differentiation


Collapsin-response mediator proteins (CRMPs) are highly expressed in the developing brain where they take part in several aspects of neuronal differentiation. CRMPs are still present postnatally, but their function remains speculative in the adult brain. We studied the expression and localization of CRMP1, CRMP2 and CRMP5 in two areas of the nervous system with persistent neurogenesis in adult mice, the olfactory mucosa and the olfactory bulb. In the olfactory mucosa, we have established that CRMP expression is restricted to postmitotic cells of the olfactory neurons lineage. CRMP5 is coexpressed with growth associated protein of 43 kDa (GAP43) in immature olfactory neurons and is down-regulated in olfactory marker protein-positive mature neurons. In contrast, CRMP1 and CRMP2 persist at all stages of differentiation from immature GAP43-positive to fully mature olfactory neurons. In the olfactory bulb, CRMP1, CRMP2 and CRMP5 are abundant in neuronal progenitors of the subependymal layer and in differentiating interneurons. In both areas, the subcellular distribution of CRMP1 or CRMP2 is different in mature vs. immature neurons, suggesting that these proteins are sequentially involved in various cellular events during neuronal lifetime. The variations of CRMP expression following axotomy are consistent with their differential localization and functional involvement in immature vs. mature neurons of the olfactory system. Our data bring new insight to the putative functions of CRMPs within areas of the adult nervous system with permanent neurogenesis, some related to differentiation of newly generated neurons but others occurring in mature neurons with a limited lifespan.