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Selective regulation of axonal growth from developing hippocampal neurons by tumor necrosis factor superfamily member APRIL

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Catarina Osório, Pedro J Chacón, Matthew White, Lilian Kisiswa, Sean Wyatt, Alfredo Rodríguez-Tébar, Alun M Davies

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-36
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular and Cellular Neurosciences
Volume59
Early online date18 Jan 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

King's Authors

Abstract

APRIL (A Proliferation-Inducing Ligand, TNFSF13) is a member of the tumor necrosis factor superfamily that regulates lymphocyte survival and activation and has been implicated in tumorigenesis and autoimmune diseases. Here we report the expression and first known activity of APRIL in the nervous system. APRIL and one of its receptors, BCMA (B-Cell Maturation Antigen, TNFRSF17), are expressed by hippocampal pyramidal cells of fetal and postnatal mice. In culture, these neurons secreted APRIL, and function-blocking antibodies to either APRIL or BCMA reduced axonal elongation. Recombinant APRIL enhanced axonal elongation, but did not influence dendrite elongation. The effect of APRIL on axon elongation was inhibited by anti-BCMA and the expression of a signaling-defective BCMA mutant in these neurons, suggesting that the axon growth-promoting effect of APRIL is mediated by BCMA. APRIL promoted phosphorylation and activation of ERK1, ERK2 and Akt and serine phosphorylation and inactivation of GSK-3β in cultured hippocampal pyramidal cells. Inhibition of MEK1/MEK2 (activators of ERK1/ERK2), PI3-kinase (activator of Akt) or Akt inhibited the axon growth-promoting action of APRIL, as did pharmacological activation of GSK-3β and the expression of a constitutively active form of GSK-3β. These findings suggest that APRIL promotes axon elongation by a mechanism that depends both on ERK signaling and PI3-kinase/Akt/GSK-3β signaling.

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