It has been recently reported that the centrosome of neurons does not have microtubule nucleating activity. Microtubule nucleation requires γ-tubulin as well as its recruiting proteins, GCP-WD/NEDD1 and CDK5RAP2 that anchor γ-tubulin to the centrosome. Change in the localization of these proteins during in vivo development of brain, however, has not been well examined. In this study we investigate the localization of γ-tubulin, GCP-WD and CDK5RAP2 in developing cerebral and cerebellar cortex with immunofluorescence. We found that γ-tubulin and its recruiting proteins were localized at centrosomes of immature neurons, while they were lost at centrosomes in mature neurons. This indicated that the loss of microtubule nucleating activity at the centrosome of neurons is due to the loss of γ-tubulin-recruiting proteins from the centrosome. RT-PCR analysis revealed that these proteins are still expressed after birth, suggesting that they have a role in microtubule generation in cell body and dendrites of mature neurons. Microtubule regrowth experiments on cultured mature neurons showed that microtubules are nucleated not at the centrosome but within dendrites. These data indicated the translocation of microtubule-organizing activity from the centrosome to dendrites during maturation of neurons, which would explain the mixed polarity of microtubules in dendrites.
2015 The Japan Society of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry