Ontogeny and the possible function of a novel epidermal growth factor-like repeat domain-containing protein, NELL2, in the rat brain

Hyun Kim, Chang Man Ha, Jungil Choi, Eun Jung Choi, Jongrye Jeon, Changmee Kim, Sang Kyu Park, Sang Soo Kang, Kyungjin Kim, Byung Ju Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


In this study we investigated the mRNA expression of NELL2, a neural tissue-specific epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like repeat domain-containing protein, in the developing and adult rat CNS using in situ hybridization histochemistry and northern blot analysis. The possible candidates that interact with or be regulated by NELL2 were screened with a cDNA expression array in antisense (AS) NELL2 oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN)-injected rat hypothalami. NELL2 mRNA was detected as early as embryonic day 10, and was predominant in the CNS throughout the pre-natal stages. Its expression gradually increased during embryonic development and its strong expression was observed throughout the CNS until embryonic day 20. It was detected in the ventricular zone of the spinal cord, medulla and pons in 12-day-old-embryos, suggesting that NELL2 plays a role in the neurogenesis of these areas. After birth its expression gradually decreased, but high levels of expression could be observed in the tenia tecta, piriform cortex, hippocampus, dentate gyrus, cerebellar cortex, ambiguus nucleus, and inferior olivary nucleus of adult rat brains. The analysis of cDNA expression arrays revealed that the administration of AS NELL2 ODN markedly decreased the expression of several Ca2+-binding proteins and those involved in the transport and release of vesicles such as EF-hand Ca2+-binding protein p22 and rab7. This finding was confirmed by relative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. The effect of NELL2 on synaptic vesicle content in median eminence (ME) nerve terminals was determined with synaptophysin levels as a marker protein in the AS NELL2 ODN-injected rat. It was significantly decreased by the AS ODN. These data suggest that NELL2 may play an important role in the development of the CNS as well as maintenance of neural functions, by regulating the intracellular machinery involving Ca2+ signaling, synaptic transport and/or release of vesicles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1389-1400
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Dec


  • CDNA array
  • Ca-binding protein
  • In situ hybridization
  • NELL2
  • Neurogenesis
  • Rat embryo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Ontogeny and the possible function of a novel epidermal growth factor-like repeat domain-containing protein, NELL2, in the rat brain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this