Expression of Niemann-Pick type C transcript in rodent cerebellum in vivo and in vitro

Torsten Falk, William S. Garver, Robert P. Erickson, Jean M. Wilson, Andrea J. Yool

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This study assesses the developmental expression of the Niemann-Pick type C mRNA in vivo and in vitro in rat cerebellum. NPC is an autosomal recessive neurovisceral lipid storage disease associated with an alteration in cholesterol trafficking. In the mouse model of NPC and in the early onset form of human NPC, Purkinje neurons are among the first neurological targets, suffering stunted growth during postnatal development and dying, leading to ataxia. Recently, the genes responsible for human (NPC1) and mouse (Npc1) NPC disease have been cloned. Based on a highly homologous domain, we designed primers to look for levels of Npc1 mRNA with a semi-quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) approach using cyclophilin as an internal standard. Total RNA was isolated from various postnatal developmental stages of the rat cerebellum as template for the analyses. Npc1 transcripts were observed at postnatal day 0 and at later stages of development, both in vivo and in vitro from primary cerebellar cultures. To identify the location of Npc1 inside the cerebellum, we performed immunostaining with an anti-Npc1 antibody in primary rat cerebellar cultures identifying reactive Purkinje neurons by double-labeling with the Purkinje specific marker calbindin and sub-populations of glial cells. In summary, Npc1 is expressed in rat cerebellum in vivo and in vitro and is expressed during early postnatal development as well as in the adult cerebellum. Since Npc1 is expressed at similar levels throughout development, the vulnerability of Purkinje neurons to this disease is likely to involve disruption of an interaction with other developmentally-regulated proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-57
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 21 1999


  • Calbindin
  • Fluorescence microscopy
  • Niemann-Pick type C
  • Npc1
  • Purkinje neuron
  • Quantitative PCR
  • Rat cerebellum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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