Expression of the cystathionine beta synthase (CBS) gene during mouse development and immunolocalization in adult brain

J Histochem Cytochem. 2003 Mar;51(3):363-71. doi: 10.1177/002215540305100311.


Hyperhomocysteinemia, caused by a lack of cystathionine beta synthase (CBS), leads to elevated plasma concentrations of homocysteine. This is a common risk factor for atherosclerosis, stroke, and possibly neurodegenerative diseases. However, the mechanisms that link hyperhomocysteinemia due to CBS deficiency to these diseases are still unknown. Early biochemical studies describe developmental and adult patterns of transsulfuration and CBS expression in a variety of species. However, there is incomplete knowledge about the regional and cellular expression pattern of CBS, notably in the brain. To complete the previous data, we used in situ hybridization and Northern blotting to characterize the spatial and temporal patterns of Cbs gene expression during mouse development. In the early stages of development, the Cbs gene was expressed only in the liver and in the skeletal, cardiac, and nervous systems. The expression declined in the nervous system in the late embryonic stages, whereas it increased in the brain after birth, peaking during cerebellar development. In the adult brain, expression was strongest in the Purkinje cell layer and in the hippocampus. Immunohistochemical analyses showed that the CBS protein was localized in most areas of the brain but predominantly in the cell bodies and neuronal processes of Purkinje cells and Ammon's horn neurons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Brain / embryology
  • Brain / growth & development
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cystathionine beta-Synthase / biosynthesis*
  • Cystathionine beta-Synthase / genetics
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Cystathionine beta-Synthase