The expression of microtubule-associated protein 1a (MAP1a) in the developing rat spinal cord was studied using the monoclonal antibody BW6. Immunoblots of microtubule preparations revealed the presence of MAP1a in spinal cord tissue of rats aged embryonal day 16 and postnatal day 0. The spinal cord matrix layer, between embryonal days 12-17, displayed a pattern of MAP1a-positive processes, horizontally oriented in between the membrane limitans interna and externa. The mantle layer stained intensely for MAP1a between embryonal day 12 and postnatal day 2. MAP1a was found in neuronal cell bodies, axons and dendrites, located mainly in the ventral and intermediate mantle layer. In the marginal layer, MAP1a-positive axons could be observed between embryonal days 14-18. During further development, the intensity of the MAP1a staining in the spinal columns gradually decreased. These expression patterns indicate an involvement of MAP1a in the proliferation and differentiation of neuroblasts, and the maturation of the long spinal fiber sytems, i.e. early events in spinal cord development.
- Central nervous system
- Microtubule- associated protein
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