Bcl-2-related protein family gene expression during oligodendroglial differentiation

Takayuki Ito, Aki Itoh, David E Pleasure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Oligodendroglial lineage cells (OLC) vary in susceptibility to both necrosis and apoptosis depending on their developmental stages, which might be regulated by differential expression of Bcl-2-related genes. As an initial step to test this hypothesis, we examined the expression of 19 Bcl-2-related genes in purified cultures of rat oligodendroglial progenitors, immature and mature oligodendrocytes. All 'multidomain' anti-apoptotic members (Bcl-x, Bcl-2, Mcl-1, Bcl-w and Bcl2110/ Diva/Boo) except Bcl2a1/A1 are expressed in OLC. Semiquantitative and real-time RT-PCR revealed that Bcl-xL and Mcl-1 mRNAs are the dominant anti-apoptotic members and increase four- and twofold, respectively, with maturation. Bcl-2 mRNA is less abundant than Bcl-xL mRNA in progenitors and falls an additional 10-fold during differentiation. Bcl-w mRNA also increases, with significant changes in its splicing pattern, as OLC mature. Transfection studies demonstrated that Bcl-xL overexpression protects against kainate-induced excito- toxicity, whereas Bcl-2 overexpression does not. As for 'multidomain' pro-apoptotic members (Bax, Bad and Bok/ Mtd), Bax and Bak are highly expressed throughout differentiation. Among 'BH3 domain-only' members examined (Bim, Biklk, DP5/Hrk, Bad, Bid, Noxa, Puma/Bbc3, Bmf, BNip3 and BNip3L), BNip3 and Bmf mRNAs increase markedly during differentiation. These results provide basic information to guide further studies on the roles for Bcl-2-related family proteins in OLC death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1500-1512
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Bcl-2-related protein family
  • Excito- toxicity
  • Oligodendroglial lineage
  • Real-time PCR
  • Transfection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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