Long-lasting RNAi activity in mammalian neurons

FEBS Lett. 2004 Jan 30;558(1-3):89-95. doi: 10.1016/S0014-5793(04)00017-1.


The effect of RNA interference (RNAi) induced by synthetic small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) on proliferating mammalian cells appears to last for approximately 3-7 days after its induction. Here we show that the RNAi activity induced by a synthetic 21-nucleotide siRNA duplex in postmitotic neurons, mouse primary hippocampal neurons and neurons that differentiated from mouse embryonal carcinoma P19 cells persists for at least 3 weeks, suggesting long-lasting RNAi activity in mammalian neurons. In addition, we also show that an apoptotic (or antiviral) pathway triggered by long dsRNAs is generated during neuronal differentiation of P19 cells, by which the sequence-specific RNAi activity involving long dsRNA appears to be masked.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytarabine / pharmacology
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Hippocampus / cytology*
  • Hippocampus / embryology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • RNA, Double-Stranded / metabolism
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism*
  • Teratocarcinoma / genetics
  • Teratocarcinoma / pathology
  • Time Factors
  • Tretinoin / pharmacology


  • RNA, Double-Stranded
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Cytarabine
  • Tretinoin