In vitro induction and in vivo expression of bcl-2 in the hNT neurons

Marcel M. Daadi, Samuel Saporta, Alison E. Willing, Tanja Zigova, Michael P. McGrogan, Paul R. Sanberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Bcl-2 encodes membrane-associated proteins that suppress programmed cell death in cells of various origins. Compelling evidence suggests that bcl-2 is also involved in neuronal differentiation and axonal regeneration. The human Neuro-Teratocarcinoma (hNT) neurons constitute a terminally differentiated human neuronal cell line that is derived from the Ntera-2/clone D1 (NT2) precursors upon retinoic acid (RA) treatment. After transplantation into the central nervous system (CNS), the hNT neurons survive, engraft, maintain their neuronal identity, and extend long neurite outgrowth. We were particularly interested in the intracellular determinants that confer these post-transplant characteristics to the hNT neurons. Thus, we asked whether the hNT neurons express bcl-2 after transplantation into the rat striatum and if RA induction of the neuronal lineage is mediated by bcl-2. The grafted hNT neurons were first identified using three different antibodies that recognize human-specific epitopes, anti-hMit, anti-hNuc, and NuMA. After a 1-month post-transplant survival time, NuMA immunostaining revealed that 12% of the hNT neurons survived the transplantation. These neurons extended long neuritic processes within the striatum, as demonstrated using the human-specific antibody against the midsize neurofilament subunit HO14. Importantly, we found that 85% of the implanted hNT neurons expressed bcl-2 and that the in vitro induction of the neuronal lineage from the NT2 precursors with RA resulted in an upregulation of bcl-2 expression. Together, these data suggest that the differentiation of the hNT neurons to a neuronal lineage could be mediated at least partially by bcl-2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-152
Number of pages6
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 15 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Bcl-2 expression
  • Differentiation
  • hNT neurons
  • Neural precursors
  • Neural transplantation
  • Neuronal lineage
  • NT2 cell line
  • Retinoic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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