Differential expression of rab3 isoforms in oligodendrocytes and astrocytes

Dana L. Madison, W. H. Krüger, T. Kim, S. E. Pfeiffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


The small GTP-binding protein Rab3a is involved in regulated secretory pathways and is enriched in synaptic and neuroendocrine secretory vesicles. We have reported previously the developmental regulation of Rab3a in oligodendrocytes in culture and purified central nervous system myelin (Huber et al.: FEBS Lett 347: 273-278, 1994). Since multiple rab3 isoforms exist in the brain and may be associated with different secretory pathways, we have investigated the differential expression of the rab3 isoforms in oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, and Schwann cell line RT4-D6P2T. The expression of specific rab3 isoforms (rab3a-c) was detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and confirmed by sequence analyses. These data show that in addition to the previously reported expression in neurons, the two macroglial populations, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, also express rab3 isoforms. Rab3b was preferentially amplified from purified, cultured astrocytes, while rab3a and rab3c were preferentially amplified from highly enriched populations of both cultured oligodendrocytes and those isolated directly from the brain by immunopanning. No novel rab3 isoform was detected in glia. These results indicate that glial cells in the brain express specific isoforms of the vesicular trafficking Rab3 protein family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-268
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • GTP-binding proteins
  • Rab3A
  • Rab3B
  • Rab3C
  • astrocytes
  • myelin
  • oligodendrocytes
  • vesicular trafficking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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