The receptor tyrosine kinase, Cek8, is transiently expressed on subtypes of motoneurons in the spinal cord during development

Kunimasa Ohta, Masaaki Nakamura, Kaoru Hirokawa, Shigeyasu Tanaka, Atsushi Iwama, Toshio Suda, Masayuki Ando, Hideaki Tanaka

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Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) play important roles in cellular proliferation, differentiation, and survival. We performed reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reactions (RT-PCR) from enriched embryonic day 5 (E5) chick motoneurons by panning to identify RTKs involved in the early development of motoneuron. In situ hybridization revealed that Cek8, a member of the eph family, was specifically expressed on motoneurons at the brachial and lumbar segments of the spinal cord which innervate limb muscles, and disappeared after the naturally occurring cell death period (E6-E11). Immunohistochemistry using an anti-Cek8 monoclonal antibody showed the localization of Cek8 protein at the cell bodies and axonal fibers of motoneurons and muscles. The unique expression of Cek8 suggests its involvement in cellular survival or cell-cell interactions for specific subpopulations of developing motoneurons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-69
Number of pages11
JournalMechanisms of Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1996 Jan



  • Cek8
  • Motoneuron
  • Receptor tyrosine kinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Embryology
  • Developmental Biology

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