Nuclear lamins are prominent elements of the nuclear matrix and are expressed in cell type-specific and differentiation state-specific patterns. A few observations have indicated that nervous tissue may display unusual patterns of lamin expression, in that some neurons appear to lack A-type lamins, which are generally prominently expressed in terminally differentiated, postmitotic cells. To investigate lamin expression patterns during the differentiation of a teratocarcinoma cell line into neurons, NT2/D1 cells were induced to differentiate with retinoic acid treatment. Lamin expression and organization during differentiation in vitro were examined by quantitative immunofluorescence and immunoblotting methods. Undifferentiated NT2/D1 cells were all strongly labeled with an anti-lamin B1 antibody, but displayed marked variation in A/C lamin immunoreactivity. After differentiation, neuronal nuclear envelopes were significantly more strongly labeled by anti-lamin B1 antibody than those of undifferentiated cells, but completely lacked A/C lamin immunoreactivity. In contrast, nonneuronal cells displayed a slight reduction in B1 lamin immunoreactivity, along with a distinct increase in A/C lamin levels. The loss of laminA/C expression in NT2/D1 neurons is contrary to the pattern normally observed in most somatic cell types during early development and indicates that the nuclear matrix of some neurons, along with certain neuroendocrine and hematopoietic cells, is uniquely specialized in this regard.
- Retinoic acid