Polarization of caveolins and caveolae during migration of immortalized neurons

J Neurochem. 2008 Jan;104(2):514-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2007.05005.x. Epub 2007 Nov 6.


During CNS development neurons undergo directional migration to achieve their adult localizations. To study neuronal migration, we used a model cell line of immortalized murine neurons (gonadotropin-releasing hormone expressing neurons; GN11), enriched with caveolins and caveolae invaginations that show in vitro chemotaxis upon serum exposure. Cholesterol depletion with methyl-beta-cyclodextrin induced the loss of caveolae and the inhibition of chemotaxis, thus suggesting that GN11 migration depends upon the structural integrity of caveolae. Polarization of proteins and organelles is a hallmark of cell migration. Accordingly, GN11 cells transmigrating through filter pores exhibited a polarized distribution of caveolin-1 isoform (cav-1) in the leading processes. In contrast, during two-dimensional migration cav-1 and caveolae polarized at the trailing edge. As caveolae are enriched with signaling molecules, we suggest that asymmetrical localization of caveolae may spatially orient GN11 neurons to incoming migratory signals thereby transducing them into directional migration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caveolae / metabolism*
  • Caveolins / metabolism*
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Chemotaxis / drug effects
  • Chemotaxis / physiology
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / metabolism
  • Indoles
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission / methods
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Neurons / ultrastructure
  • Tetrazolium Salts
  • Thiazoles
  • beta-Cyclodextrins / pharmacology


  • Caveolins
  • Indoles
  • Tetrazolium Salts
  • Thiazoles
  • beta-Cyclodextrins
  • methyl-beta-cyclodextrin
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • DAPI
  • Cholesterol
  • thiazolyl blue