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Int J Clin Exp Pathol 2013;6(7):1245-1260

Original Article
Expression of Wnt5a and its receptor Fzd2 is changed in the spinal cord of adult
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis transgenic mice

Xiaojin Li, Yingjun Guan, Yanchun Chen, Caixia Zhang, Caixing Shi, Fenghua Zhou, Li Yu, Juan Juan, Xin Wang

Department of Histology and Embryology, Weifang Medical University, Weifang, Shandong, PR China; Department of Neurosurgery, Brigham
and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Received May 3, 2013; Accepted May 24, 2013; Epub June 15, 2013; Published July 1, 2013

Abstract: Wnt5a, a member of the Wnt gene family, encodes a cysteine-rich growth factor involved in signal transduction during growth and
differentiation. The Fzd2 gene codes for a cell membrane receptor called Frizzled-2 have a structure similar to G protein coupled receptors. The
extracellular N-terminal of the Fzd2 receptor has a cysteine-rich domain (CRD) that binds Wnt ligands and thus primes the Wnt signal pathway.
Downregulation of the Wnt signal pathway occurs in neurodegenerative diseases including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). However, little
is known about Wnt5a/Fzd2 signaling in mammalian nerve cells, and it is not clear whether Wnt5a or Fzd2 functioning are changed in ALS. The
influence of Wnt5a and Fzd2 signal transduction pathway on ALS was investigated in adult SOD1G93A transgenic mice. Changes in Wnt5a and
Fzd2 expression in the spinal cord of SOD1G93A transgenic mice (ALS), SOD1G93A transfected NSC-34 cells, and primary cultures of
astrocytes from SOD1G93A transgenic mice were detected by immunofluorescent staining, Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction
(RT-PCR) and Western blotting. The results provide further insight into the role of Wnt5a and Fzd2 in the pathogenesis of ALS transgenic mice,
which provides evidence that should help in the search for treatments of ALS. (IJCEP1305002).

Keywords: ALS, Wnt5a, Fzd2, NSC34, astrocyte, Wnt signaling pathway

Address correspondence to: Dr. Yingjun Guan, Department of Histology and Embryology, Weifang Medical University, Shandong 261053,
China. Fax: 86-0536-8271216; E-mail: guanyj@wfmc.edu.cn; Dr. Xin Wang, Department of Neurosurgery, BLI141 and LMRC 111, Brigham and
Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, 02115, USA. Fax: +1 617-278-6937