Brn-3a deficiency transiently increases expression of calbindin D-28 k and calretinin in the trigeminal ganglion during embryonic development

Hiroyuki Ichikawa, Ruji Terayama, Tomoichiro Yamaai, David M. Jacobowitz, Feng Qiu, Mengging Xiang, Tomosada Sugimoto

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Immunohistochemistry for neuron-specific nuclear protein (NeuN), caspase-3, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), and calcium-binding proteins was performed on the trigeminal ganglion (TG) in wild type and Brn-3a knockout mice at embryonic days 12.5-16.5 (E12.5-E16.5). In Brn-3a knockout mice, the number of NeuN-immunoreactive (ir) neuron profiles increased at E14.5 (40.0% increase) and decreased at E16.5 (28.3% reduction) compared to wild type mice. Caspase-3-ir neuron profiles were abundant in the TG of wild type mice at E12.5-E16.5. However, the loss of Brn-3a decreased the number of caspase-3-ir neuron profiles at E12.5 (69.7% reduction) and E14.5 (51.7% reduction). At E16.5, the distribution of caspase-3-ir neuron profiles was barely affected by the deficiency. CGRP-ir neuron profiles were observed in the TG of wild type mice but not knockout mice at E12.5. At E14.5 and E16.5, CGRP-ir neuron profiles were abundant in both wild type and knockout mice. Calbindin D-28 k (CB)-ir neuron profiles decreased in the TG of mutant mice at E12.5 compared to wild type mice (56.4% reduction). At E14.5, however, Brn-3a deficiency transiently increased CB-ir neuron profiles (169.4% increase as compared to wild type mice). Calretinin (CR)-ir neuron profiles could not be detected in the TG of wild type mice at E12.5-16.5. However, numerous CR-ir neuron profiles transiently appeared in the knockout mouse at E14.5. Parvalbumin (PV)-ir neurons appeared in wild type and knockout mice at E14.5. At this stage, the number of large (>50 μm2) PV-ir neuron profiles in knockout mice was fewer than that in wild type mice. The number and cell size of PV-ir neuron profiles were barely affected by the deficiency at E16.5. The present study indicates that the loss of Brn-3a causes increase of TG neurons at E14.5 and decrease of TG neurons at E16.5. It is also suggested that Brn-3a deficiency affects the number and cell size of CGRP- and calcium-binding protein-containing neurons at E12.5 and E14.5. Caspase-3-dependent cell death of CB- and CR-ir neurons may be suppressed by the deficiency at E14.5.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-698
Number of pages8
JournalCellular and molecular neurobiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009


  • Calcium-binding protein
  • Development
  • Knockout mouse
  • Neuropeptides
  • Transcription factor
  • Trigeminal ganglion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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