Indexed on: 22 Nov '00Published on: 22 Nov '00Published in: Experimental Neurology
Recently, we showed expression of apolipoprotein E (apoE) in human neuronal-type cells such as neuroblastoma SK N SH-SY 5Y cells. In this model, a negative effect of neuronal differentiation on apoE synthesis was suspected. To check this hypothesis, we studied the regulation of apoE in human postmitotic neurons. The presence of apoE was investigated in undifferentiated human teratocarcinoma NT2/D1 (NT2) cells and during their differentiation into postmitotic hNT neurons induced by retinoic acid (RA) treatment. Before differentiation, apoE protein and mRNA were detected in NT2 cells by Western blotting and RT-PCR experiments. Immunofluorescence study showed that apoE was present in all cells. For longer times of RA treatment (3 weeks), the apoE labeling became heterogeneous: only some cells were immunopositive and among them were some differentiating cells in which apoE was located in both cellular body and neuritic process. Interestingly, terminally differentiated hNT cells no longer expressed apoE. These results demonstrate that neuronal precursor and differentiating cells were able to synthesize apoE while the fully neuronal differentiation exerted a negative effect on apoE neuronal expression. Our results are compatible with a weak expression of apoE in neurons of adult brains.