Abnormal HNK-1 expression in the cerebellum of an N-CAM null mouse

J Neurocytol. 2004 Jan;33(1):117-30. doi: 10.1023/B:NEUR.0000029652.96456.0d.


Human natural killer antigen-1 (HNK-1) is a carbohydrate epitope associated with sulfoglucuronylglycolipids and glycoproteins. Biochemical analyses have demonstrated associations between the HNK-1 epitope and isoforms of the neural cell adhesion molecule (N-CAM) family. In the cerebellum, HNK-1 is prominently expressed in Purkinje cell dendrites and Golgi cells. Purkinje cell expression of HNK-1 reveals an array of parasagittal stripes and transverse zones. Interestingly, the parasagittal expression pattern of HNK-1 is different from those reported with several other markers such as zebrin II/aldolase C and the small heat shock protein HSP25. N-CAM null knockout mice were used to explore the possible role of the HNK-1/N-CAM interaction during the topographical organization of the cerebellar cortex. N-CAM null mice have no N-CAM immunoreactivity but otherwise the cerebellum appears morphologically normal. Further, in the N-CAM null HNK-1 immunoreactivity is abolished from Purkinje cell dendrites but is retained on Golgi cells and neurons of the cerebellar nuclei. Despite the absence of N-CAM/HNK-1, parasagittal stripes and transverse zones in the cerebellum as revealed by using zebrin II immunocytochemistry appear normal.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD57 Antigens / analysis
  • CD57 Antigens / biosynthesis*
  • CD57 Antigens / genetics
  • Cerebellum / chemistry
  • Cerebellum / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules / biosynthesis
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules / deficiency*
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules / genetics*


  • CD57 Antigens
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules