Background: RAD21 is a double-strand-break repair protein and component of the cohesin complex with key roles in cellular functions. A RAD21 loss-of-function mutation was found in cases of chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction (CIPO) with associated enteric neuronal loss. Analysis of RAD21 expression in the enteric nervous system is lacking, thus we aimed to characterize RAD21 immunoreactivity (IR) in myenteric ganglia. Methods: Double labeling immunofluorescence in mouse and human jejunum was used to determine colocalization of RAD21 with HuC/D, PGP9.5, neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), neuropeptide Y (NPY), choline acetyl transferase (ChAT), Kit, platelet-derived growth factor receptor-α (PDGFRα), and glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP) IRs. Results: A subset of PGP9.5- and HuC/D-IR neuronal cell bodies and nerve fibers in the myenteric plexus of human and mouse small intestine also displayed cytoplasmic RAD21-IR Cytoplasmic RAD21-IR was found in 43% of HuC/D-IR neurons in adult and neonatal mice but did not colocalize with nNOS. A subset of ChAT-positive neurons had cytoplasmic RAD21-IR Punctate RAD21-IR was restricted to the nucleus in most cell types consistent with labeling of the cohesin complex. Cytoplasmic RAD21-IR was not detected in interstitial cells of Cajal, fibroblast-like cells or glia. Subsets of neurons in primary culture exhibited cytoplasmic RAD21-IR Suppression of RAD21 expression by shRNA knockdown abolished RAD21-IR in cultured neurons. Conclusions: Our data showing cytoplasmic RAD21 expression in enteric neurons provide a basis toward understanding how mutations of this gene may contribute to altered neuronal function/survival thus leading to gut-motor abnormalities.
- chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction
- enteric neurons
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems