CRMP1, CRMP2, and CRMP5 have been identified as cytosolic proteins relaying semaphorin 3A signalling, one of the molecular cues conducting axon and dendrite growth and guidance. They are highly expressed during brain ontogenesis, but, because of their lower levels in the adult, their distribution in the mature brain is poorly documented. By using specific antibodies, we investigated the cellular distribution of these CRMPs in different adult brain structures and in neural cell cultures with a special focus on the splice variants CRMP2A and CRMP2B. In brain sections of adult mouse, CRMP1, CRMP2B, and CRMP5 were located predominantly in dendrites of specific neuronal populations, such as cortical pyramidal neurons, hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells, or Purkinje cerebellar cells. On the contrary, CRMP2A was specifically associated with axons of the corpus callosum, bundles of the striatum, and mossy fibers of the hippocampus. In cultures of cortical neurons, CRMP1, CRMP2A, CRMP2B, and CRMP5 were equally distributed throughout cell bodies, axons, or dendrites of neurons, whereas CRMP2A and CRMP5 were completely absent from Purkinje cerebellar cells in 12-day-old animals. By comparison, oligodendrocytes exclusively express CRMP2B and CRMP5 in cell bodies and processes both in situ in the adult brain and in primary cultures. Overall, our results demonstrate specific subcellular localizations of CRMP1, CRMP2A, CRMP2B, and CRMP5 depending on cell types, neuronal compartment, and developmental stage. This study suggests that, beyond their signalling function in axon outgrowth and guidance, CRMPs also play a role in mature neurons both in axons and in dendrites.
(c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.