Alterations in dendritic spine maturation and neurite development mediated by fam19a1

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Neurogenesis and functional brain activity require complex associations of inherently programmed secretory elements that are regulated precisely and temporally. Family with sequence similarity 19 A1 (FAM19A1) is a secreted protein primarily expressed in subsets of terminally differentiated neuronal precursor cells and fully mature neurons in specific brain substructures. Several recent studies have demonstrated the importance of FAM19A1 in brain physiology; however, additional information is needed to support its role in neuronal maturation and function. In this study, dendritic spine morphology in Fam19a1‐ablated mice and neurite development during in vitro neurogenesis were examined to understand the putative role of FAM19A1 in neural integrity. Adult Fam19a1‐deficient mice showed low dendritic spine density and maturity with reduced dendrite complexity compared to wild‐type (WT) littermates. To further explore the effect of FAM19A1 on neuronal maturation, the neurite outgrowth pattern in primary neurons was analyzed in vitro with and without FAM19A1. In response to FAM19A1, WT primary neurons showed reduced neurite complexity, whereas Fam19a1‐decifient primary neurons exhibited increased neurite arborization, which was reversed by supplementation with recombinant FAM19A1. Together, these findings suggest that FAM19A1 participates in dendritic spine development and neurite arborization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1868
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Aug

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Dendritic spines
  • FAM19A1
  • Neurite outgrowth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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