Type III adenylyl cyclase localizes to primary cilia throughout the adult mouse brain

J Comp Neurol. 2007 Dec 10;505(5):562-71. doi: 10.1002/cne.21510.


Solitary primary cilia project from nearly every cell type in the human body. These organelles are considered to have important sensory and signaling functions. Although primary cilia have been detected throughout the mammalian brain, their functions are unknown. The study of primary cilia in the brain is constrained by the scarcity of specific markers for these organelles. We previously demonstrated that type III adenylyl cyclase (ACIII) is a marker for primary cilia on neonatal hippocampal neurons in vivo and in vitro. We further showed that ACIII localizes to cilia on cultured glial cells. Here, we report that ACIII is a marker for primary cilia throughout many regions of the adult mouse brain. Furthermore, we report that ACIII localizes to primary cilia on choroid plexus cells and some astrocytes in the brain, which to our knowledge is the first report of a marker for visualizing cilia on glia in vivo. Overall, our data indicate that ACIII is a prominent marker of primary cilia in the brain and will provide an important tool to facilitate further investigations into the functions of these organelles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenylyl Cyclases / immunology
  • Adenylyl Cyclases / metabolism*
  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Antibodies
  • Astrocytes / metabolism*
  • Astrocytes / ultrastructure
  • Biomarkers / metabolism*
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Choroid Plexus / cytology
  • Choroid Plexus / metabolism
  • Cilia / enzymology*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Isoenzymes / immunology
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains / metabolism*
  • Rabbits


  • Antibodies
  • Biomarkers
  • Isoenzymes
  • Adenylyl Cyclases
  • adenylate cyclase 3