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Development 1990 Apr 01;1084:681-92.
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Thyroxine-dependent modulations of the expression of the neural cell adhesion molecule N-CAM during Xenopus laevis metamorphosis.

Levi G , Broders F , Dunon D , Edelman GM , Thiery JP .

During amphibian metamorphosis, a complete remodeling of the phenotype takes place under complex hormonal control whose final effectors are thyroid hormones. This process implies the activation of coordinated programs of cell death, proliferation, migration, adhesion and differentiation. Inasmuch as the neural cell adhesion molecule N-CAM is thought to play a central role in the control of morphogenetic processes, we have studied by immunohistofluorescence and immunoblots the patterns of expression of N-CAM at different stages of Xenopus laevis metamorphosis. A scan was made of all major organs and appendages. Before the metamorphic climax, all neuronal cell bodies and processes express high levels of N-CAM. During the metamorphic climax, N-CAM expression decreases sharply on the cell bodies and processes of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) but remains high in the central nervous system (CNS). Towards the end of metamorphosis, the PNS and spinal nerves are virtually negative for N-CAM while the CNS is still positive. The optic and olfactory nerves, although myelinated, are still strongly positive for N-CAM. The lens and olfactory epithelia express N-CAM throughout metamorphosis. In the brain. N-CAM is present at all times as three polypeptides of 180, 140, and 120 X 10(3) Mr; before metamorphosis some of the N-CAM is in its polysialylated form. During metamorphosis and the subsequent growth of the animal, the amount of N-CAM decreases gradually. In all polypeptides, the polysialylated form is the first to disappear. Cardiac muscle expresses high level of N-CAM from its first formation throughout metamorphosis; in contrast, the level of N-CAM in skeletal muscle is high in newly formed muscles, but decreases rapidly after myoblast fusion. The liver of adult Xenopus contains large amounts of a 160 X 10(3) polypeptide that is recognized by polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies against N-CAM. cDNA probes of Xenopus brain N-CAM recognize major transcripts of 9.2, 3.8 and 3.3 kb in Xenopus liver mRNA; these bands are different in size from those recognized in brain mRNA (9.5, 4.2 and 2.2 kb). Premetamorphic liver does not express the 160 X 10(3) form of N-CAM, which can be first detected at stage 59 and persists then through all the life of the animal. Expression of N-CAM in the liver can be induced in premetamorphic animals (stage 51-52) by a 48 h treatment with thyroxine. All hepatocytes are responsive.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

PubMed ID: 2201513

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: drg1 ncam1
Antibodies: Ncam1 Ab7 Ncam1 Ab8 Ncam1 Ab9 Neuronal Ab6

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