PACAP exerts neuroprotective effects during development, especially in the cerebellum where PAC1 receptor and ligand are both expressed. However, while previous studies using PACAP injections in postnatal animals defined trophic effects of exogenous peptide, the role of endogenous PACAP remains unexplored. Here, we used PAC1-/- mice to investigate the role of PACAP receptor signaling in postnatal day 7 cerebellum. There was no difference in DNA synthesis in the cerebellar EGL of PAC1-/- compared to wild type animals, assessed using thymidine incorporation and BrdU immunohistochemistry. In contrast, we found that a significant proportion of newly generated neurons were eliminated before they successfully differentiated in the granule cell layer. In aggregate, these results suggest that endogenous PACAP plays an important role in cell survival during cerebellar development, through the activation of the PAC1 receptor.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide
- Type 1-PACAP receptor