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The canonical transient receptor potential channels (TRPCs) are Ca2+-permeable nonselective cation channels with various physiological functions. Here, we report that TRPC6, a member of the TRPC family, promotes hippocampal neuron dendritic growth. The peak expression of TRPC6 in rat hippocampus was between postnatal day 7 and 14, a period known to be important for maximal dendritic growth. Overexpression of TRPC6 increased phosphorylation of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase IV (CaMKIV) and cAMP-response-element binding protein (CREB) and promoted dendritic growth in hippocampal cultures. Downregulation of TRPC6 by short hairpin RNA interference against TRPC6 suppressed phosphorylation of both CaMKIV and CREB and impaired dendritic growth. Expressing a dominant-negative form of CaMKIV or CREB blocked the TRPC6-induced dendritic growth. Furthermore, inhibition of Ca2+ influx suppressed the TRPC6 effect on dendritic growth. Finally, in TRPC6 transgenic mice, the phosphorylation of CaMKIV and CREB was enhanced and the dendritic growth was also increased. In conclusion, TRPC6 promoted dendritic growth via the CaMKIV-CREB pathway. Our results thus revealed a novel role of TRPC6 during the development of the central nervous system (CNS).

  • Accepted April 24, 2008.
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