Characterization of glial cell models and in vitro manipulation of the neuregulin1/ErbB system

Davide Pascal, Alessia Giovannelli, Sara Gnavi, Stefan Adriaan Hoyng, Fred de Winter, Michela Morano, Federica Fregnan, Paola Dell'Albani, Damiano Zaccheo, Isabelle Perroteau, Rosalia Pellitteri, Giovanna Gambarotta

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The neuregulin1/ErbB system plays an important role in Schwann cell behavior both in normal and pathological conditions. Upon investigation of the expression of the neuregulin1/ErbB system in vitro, we explored the possibility to manipulate the system in order to increase the migration of Schwann cells, that play a fundamental role in the peripheral nerve regeneration. Comparison of primary cells and stable cell lines shows that both primary olfactory bulb ensheathing cells and a corresponding cell line express ErbB1-ErbB2 and neuregulin1, and that both primary Schwann cells and a corresponding cell line express ErbB2-ErbB3, while only primary Schwann cells express neuregulin1. To interfere with the neuregulin1/ErbB system, the soluble extracellular domain of the neuregulin1 receptor ErbB4 (ecto-ErbB4) was expressed in vitro in the neuregulin1 expressing cell line, and an unexpected increase in cell motility was observed. In vitro experiments suggest that the back signaling mediated by the transmembrane neuregulin1 plays a role in the migratory activity induced by ecto-ErbB4. These results indicate that ecto-ErbB4 could be used in vivo as a tool to manipulate the neuregulin1/ErbB system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310215
JournalBioMed Research International
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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