Translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP) is a cytosolic protein with microtubule stabilization and calcium-binding activities. TCTP is expressed in most organs including the nervous system. However, detailed distribution and functional significance of TCTP in the brain remain unexplored. In this study, we investigated the global and subcellular distributions of TCTP in the mouse brain. Immunohistochemical analyses with anti-TCTP revealed that TCTP was widely distributed in almost all regions of the brain including the cerebral cortex, thalamus, hypothalamus, hippocampus, and amygdala, wherein it was localized in axon tracts and axon terminals. In the hippocampus, TCTP was prominently localized to axon terminals of the perforant path in the dentate gyrus, the mossy fibers in the cornu ammonis (CA)3 region, and the Schaffer collaterals in the CA1 field, but not in cell bodies of granule cells and pyramidal neurons, and in their dendritic processes. Widespread distribution of TCTP in axon tracts and axon terminals throughout the brain suggests that TCTP is likely involved in neurotransmitter release and/or maintaining synaptic structures in the brain, and that it might have a role in maintaining synaptic functions and synaptic configurations important for normal cognitive, stress and emotional functions.
Keywords: Cognition; Immunohistochemistry; Mossy fiber; Mouse hippocampus; Translationally Controlled Tumor Protein (TCTP).