Impaired regenerative response of primary sensory neurons in ZPK/DLK gene-trap mice

Aki Itoh, Makoto Horiuchi, Peter Bannerman, David E Pleasure, Takayuki Ito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Rapid and persistent activation of c-JUN is necessary for axonal regeneration after nerve injury, although upstream molecular events leading to c-JUN activation remain largely unknown. ZPK/DLK/MAP3K12 activates the c-Jun N-terminal kinase pathway at an apical level. We investigated axonal regeneration of the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons of homozygous ZPK/DLK gene-trap mice. In vitro neurite extension assays using DRG explants from 14 day-old mice revealed that neurite growth rates of the ZPK/DLK gene-trap DRG explants were reduced compared to those of the wild-type DRG explants. Three ZPK/DLK gene-trap mice which survived into adulthood were subjected to sciatic nerve axotomy. At 24 h after axotomy, phosphorylated c-JUN-positive DRG neurons were significantly less frequent in ZPK/DLK gene-trap mice than in wild-type mice. These results indicate that ZPK/DLK is involved in regenerative responses of mammalian DRG neurons to axonal injury through activation of c-JUN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-262
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 29 2009


  • Explant culture
  • Mitogen activated kinase
  • Mixed lineage kinase
  • Time-lapse imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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