Developmental expression of Neuregulin-3 in the rat central nervous system

Afrida Rahman, Janet Weber, Edward Labin, Cary Lai, Anne L. Prieto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Neuregulin-3 (Nrg3) is a member of the Nrg family of growth factors identified as risk factors for schizophrenia. There are three Nrgs expressed in the nervous system (Nrg1-3) and of these Nrg1 has been the best characterized. To set the groundwork for elucidating neural roles for Nrg3, we studied its expression in the rat brain at both the RNA and protein levels. Using an antibody developed against Nrg3, we observed a developmental increase of Nrg3 protein expression from embryonic stages to adulthood and determined that it carries O-linked carbohydrates. In cortical neuronal cultures, transfected Neuro2a cells, and brain tissue sections Nrg3 protein was localized to the soma, neurites, and to the Golgi apparatus, where it is prominently expressed. Nrg3 was detected in excitatory, GABAergic and parvalbumin-expressing inhibitory neurons while expression in glia was limited. Nrg3 mRNA and protein were widely expressed during both embryonic and postnatal ages. At E17, Nrg3 was detected within the cortical plate and ventricular zone suggesting possible roles in cell proliferation or migration. At postnatal ages, Nrg3 was abundantly expressed throughout the cerebral cortex and hippocampus. Multiple thalamic nuclei expressed Nrg3, while detection in the striatum was limited. In the cerebellum, Nrg3 was found in both Purkinje cells and granule neurons. In the rodent brain, Nrg3 is the most abundantly expressed of the Nrgs and its patterns of expression differ both temporally and spatially from that of Nrg1 and Nrg2. These findings suggest that Nrg3 plays roles that are distinct from the other Nrg family members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)797-817
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was also supported by an Indiana University award to Anne L. Prieto and by a major grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc, Indianapolis, IN to Cary Lai.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • Golgi apparatus
  • Nrg3
  • RRID: AB_10000347
  • RRID: AB_10563748
  • RRID: AB_141372
  • RRID: AB_2242334
  • RRID: AB_2314501
  • RRID: AB_2337938
  • RRID: AB_2338504
  • RRID: AB_2566639
  • RRID: AB_398141
  • RRID: AB_94872
  • RRID: CVCL_0470
  • RRID: MGI:_5651135
  • RRID: SCR_002368
  • RRID: SCR_013673
  • RRID: SCR_014329
  • RRID:AB_2564462, RRID: AB_2564643
  • neuregulin
  • post-translational modifications
  • protein expression
  • schizophrenia. RRID: AB_10000343


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