Mapping of Cbln1-like immunoreactivity in adult and developing mouse brain and its localization to the endolysosomal compartment of neurons


Dr James I. Morgan, as above.


Cbln1 is a secreted glycoprotein essential for synapse structure and function in cerebellum that is also expressed in extracerebellar structures where its function is unknown. Furthermore, Cbln1 assembles into homomeric complexes and heteromeric complexes with three family members (Cbln2–Cbln4), thereby influencing each other's degradation and secretion. Therefore, to understand its function, it is essential to establish the location of Cbln1 relative to other family members. The localization of Cbln1 in brain was determined using immunohistochemistry and cbln1-lacZ transgenic mice. Cbln1-like immunoreactivity (CLI) was always punctate and localized to the cytoplasm of neurons. The punctate CLI colocalized with cathepsin D, a lysosomal marker, but not with markers of endoplasmic reticulum or Golgi, indicating that Cbln1 is present in neuronal endosomes/lysosomes. This may represent the cellular mechanism underlying the regulated degradation of Cbln1 observed in vivo. Outside the cerebellum, CLI mapped to multiple brain regions that were frequently synaptically interconnected, warranting their analysis in cbln1-null mice. Furthermore, whereas CLI increased dramatically in the cerebellum of cbln3-null mice it was unchanged in extracerebellar neurons. This opens the possibility that other family members that are coexpressed in these areas control Cbln1 levels, potentially by modulating processing in the endolysosomal pathway. During development of cbln1-lacZ mice, β-galactosidase staining was first observed in proliferating granule cell precursors prior to synaptogenesis and thereafter in maturing and adult granule cells. As cbln3 is only expressed in post-mitotic, post-migratory granule cells, Cbln1 homomeric complexes in precursors and Cbln1–Cbln3 heteromeric complexes in mature granule cells may have distinct functions and turnover.