, Volume 28, Issue 8, pp 655-662

Regional and cellular distribution of neural visinin-like protein immunoreactivities (VILIP-1 and VILIP-3) in human brain

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Neural visinin-like proteins (VILIPs) are members of the neuronal subfamily of intracellular EF-hand calcium sensor proteins termed the NCS family, which are thought to play important roles in cellular signal transduction. While numerous studies suggest a wide but uneven distribution of these proteins in rat and chicken brain, their location in, and possible significance for, the human brain, remains to be established. We used specific polyclonal antisera to map the human brain for VILIP-1 and VILIP-3 immunoreactivities. VILIP-1 was detected in cortical pyramidal cells and interneurons, septal, subthalamic and hippocampal neurons (subfields CA1 and CA4 pyramidal cells and especially hilar interneurons) as well as in cerebellar Golgi, basket, granule, stellate and dentate nucleus neurons. Purkinje cells were free of immunoreaction. VILIP-3 was more restricted in its distribution. It was identified in cerebellar Purkinje cells and a subpopulation of granule neurons. Further, neurons belonging to different nuclei of the brain stem and multiple subcortical nerve cells stained for visinin-like protein 3. A weak immunoreaction appeared in cortical and hippocampal neurons. Intracellularly the immunoreactivity appeared in the perikarya, dendrites and some axons. Sometimes, immunostaining was found in the neuropil. Glia did not express visinin-like proteins. Our findings support, from a neuroanatomical viewpoint, the idea that these calcium sensor proteins may be of relevance for neuronal signalling in the human CNS.