Agrin controls synaptic differentiation in hippocampal neurons

Christian M. Böse, Dike Qiu, Andrea Bergamaschi, Biagio Gravante, Mario Bossi, Antonello Villa, Fabio Rupp, Antonio Malgaroli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Agrin controls the formation of the neuromuscular junction. Whether it regulates the differentiation of other types of synapses remains unclear. Therefore, we have studied the role of agrin in cultured hippocampal neurons. Synaptogenesis was severely compromised when agrin expression or function was suppressed by antisense oligonucleotides and specific antibodies. The effects of antisense oligonucleotides were found to be highly specific because they were reversed by adding recombinant agrin and could not be detected in cultures from agrin-deficient animals. Interestingly, the few synapses formed in reduced agrin conditions displayed diminished vesicular turnover, despite a normal appearance at the EM level. Thus, our results demonstrate the necessity of agrin for synaptogenesis in hippocampal neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9086-9095
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 15 2000


  • Agrin
  • Agrin antibodies
  • Antisense oligonucleotides
  • Primary hippocampal neurons
  • Synapses
  • Synaptogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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