We examined roles of calcitonin family peptides in the initial stages of dendrite formation and the maturation of dendritic spines in the rat cerebral cortex in vitro. Embryonic day 18 cortical neurons were dissociated and cultured for 2-3days in the presence of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), calcitonin, amylin or adrenomedullin. The treatment of cortical neurons with CGRP promoted the formation of primary dendrites of non-GABAergic neurons. In contrast, the treatment with amylin and adrenomedullin for 3days inhibited the dendritic elongation of non-GABAergic neurons. Calcitonin had no effect on the initial dendrite formation. Next, we examined roles of the peptides in the spine formation. Embryonic day 16 cortical neurons were cultured for 14days and then treated acutely with CGRP, amylin or adrenomedullin for 24h. The density of filopodia, puncta/stubby spines and spines were increased by the CGRP treatment, whereas decreased by amylin. Therefore, CGRP and amylin showed opposite effects on the formation of dendritic filopodia, puncta and spines. Adrenomedullin had no effects on the spine formation. In conclusion, the present study showed that calcitonin family peptides have differential effects both in the dendrite formation during the initial stages and the spine formation of cortical neurons in vitro.
The serotonin type 3 (5-HT(3)) receptor is an only ligand-gated ion channel among 14 serotonin receptors. Here, we examined the roles of the 5-HT(3) receptor in the formation of dendrites and axons, using a dissociation culture of embryonic rat cerebral cortex. Cortical neurons at embryonic day 16 were cultured for 4 days in the presence of a selective 5-HT(3) receptor agonist with or without an antagonist. Neurons were then immunostained by antibodies against microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) and glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) 65. All cells expressed MAP2, whereas only limited number of cells expressed GAD65. From the immunoreactivity and the cell shape, we tentatively divided neurons into 3 types; GAD-positive multipolar, GAD-positive bipolar/tripolar and GAD-negative neurons. The total length of axons and dendrites, the number of primary dendrites and the dendritic branching of GAD-negative neurons were decreased by the agonist (10 or 100nM), most of which were reversed by the concomitant treatment of the antagonist. In contrast, no or little effect was observed on the formation of dendrites and axons of GAD-positive multipolar neurons, and the neurite formation of GAD-positive bipolar/tripolar neurons. The present study revealed differential roles of the 5-HT(3) receptor in the formation of dendrites and axons of subtypes of cortical neurons.
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