NeuroD1: developmental expression and regulated genes in the rodent pineal gland

Authors

  • Estela M. Muñoz,

    1. Section on Neuroendocrinology, Office of the Scientific Director, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
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    • 1

      Both authors contributed equally to this manuscript.

    • 2

      The present address of Estela M. Muñoz is the Institute of Histology and Embryology, School of Medicine, National University of Cuyo, National Council of Research, Science and Technology (CONICET), Mendoza, Argentina.

  • Michael J. Bailey,

    1. Section on Neuroendocrinology, Office of the Scientific Director, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
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    • 1

      Both authors contributed equally to this manuscript.

    • 3

      The present address of Michael J. Bailey is the Department of Poultry Science, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX 77843-2472, USA.

  • Martin F. Rath,

    1. Section on Neuroendocrinology, Office of the Scientific Director, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
    2. Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, University of Copenhagen, Panum Institute, Blegdamsvej, Copenhagen N, Denmark
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  • Qiong Shi,

    1. Section on Neuroendocrinology, Office of the Scientific Director, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
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  • Fabrice Morin,

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    • 4

      The present address of Fabrice Morin is the INSERM, Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Neuroendocrinology, European Institute for Peptide Research, University of Rouen, Mont-Saint-Aignan, France.

  • Steven L. Coon,

    1. Section on Neuroendocrinology, Office of the Scientific Director, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
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  • Morten Møller,

    1. Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, University of Copenhagen, Panum Institute, Blegdamsvej, Copenhagen N, Denmark
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  • David C. Klein

    1. Section on Neuroendocrinology, Office of the Scientific Director, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
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Address correspondence and reprint request to David C. Klein, NIH 49/6A82, Bethesda, MD 20892-4480, USA.
E-mail: kleind@mail.nih.gov

Abstract

NeuroD1/BETA2, a member of the bHLH transcription factor family, is known to influence the fate of specific neuronal, endocrine and retinal cells. We report here that NeuroD1 mRNA is highly abundant in the developing and adult rat pineal gland. Pineal expression begins in the 17-day embryo at which time it is also detectable in other brain regions. Expression in the pineal gland increases during the embryonic period and is maintained thereafter at levels equivalent to those found in the cerebellum and retina. In contrast, NeuroD1 mRNA decreases markedly in non-cerebellar brain regions during development. Pineal NeuroD1 levels are similar during the day and night, and do not appear to be influenced by sympathetic neural input. Gene expression analysis of the pineal glands from neonatal NeuroD1 knockout mice identifies 127 transcripts that are down-regulated (>twofold, p < 0.05) and 16 that are up-regulated (>twofold, p < 0.05). According to quantitative RT-PCR, the most dramatically down-regulated gene is kinesin family member 5C (∼100-fold) and the most dramatically up-regulated gene is glutamic acid decarboxylase 1 (∼fourfold). Other impacted transcripts encode proteins involved in differentiation, development, signal transduction and trafficking. These findings represent the first step toward elucidating the role of NeuroD1 in the rodent pinealocyte.

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