Author(s): Oomman S, Strahlendorf H, Dertien J, Strahlendorf J
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Abstract Recently, functions associated with caspase have been modified from their well-established role in apoptosis. Although caspases are still regarded as mediators of apoptosis, some of the pro-apoptotic caspases, namely caspase-8, -14 and -3 also regulate differentiation in certain cell types, namely myelomonocytic cells, osteoblasts, skeletal muscle cells, keratinocytes, and T lymphocytes. In the central nervous system, non-apoptotic active caspase-3 expression has been located in proliferating and differentiating neuronal cells of the ventricular zone and external granular layer of the developing cerebellar cortex. We previously demonstrated that active caspase-3 expression was not limited to neuronal cells but also was located in the Bergmann glia of the postnatal cerebellum. In that study, active caspase-3 immunolabeling did not markedly colocalize with Ki67, a proliferation marker, but was present in differentiating Bergmann glia that expressed brain lipid binding protein (BLBP) and thus, by its localization, suggested a role in the differentiation of Bergmann glia. The current study addresses the function of caspase-3 in Bergmann glia development by utilizing a Bergmann glial culture preparation. Inhibition of caspase-3 activity by the peptide inhibitor, DMQD-FMK, increased the number of proliferating precursor glial cells and decreased the number of differentiating Bergmann glia, without significantly altering the non-glial active caspase-3 negative population. The transformation in the developmental state of Bergmann glia occurring after suppression of caspase-3 activity strongly suggests an involvement of this enzyme in promoting differentiation of Bergmann glia.
This article was published in Brain Res
and referenced in Cell & Developmental Biology