Characterization of tissue specific expression of Notch-1 in human tissues

Alfonso Baldi, Maria De Falco, Luca De Luca, Giuliano Cottone, Marco G. Paggi, Brian J. Nickoloff, Lucio Miele, Antonio De Luca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Signaling through the Notch cell surface receptors is a highly conserved mechanism of cell fate specification. Notch signaling regulates proliferation, differentiation and cell death. In vertebrates, putative gene duplication has originated four Notch genes, Notch-1, -2, -3 and -4. They have been implicated in neurogenesis, hematopoiesis, T-cell development, vasculogenesis and brain cortical growth. We have investigated Notch-1 distribution in normal human tissues by immunohistochemistry and immunoblot. We detected widespread expression of Notch-1 cytoplasmatic staining, with different tissue distributions in the different organs examined. In particular, high expression of Notch-1 was detected in the intermediate suprabasal layers, but not in the dead cells at the extreme periphery of stratified epithelia. Moreover, a low/intermediate level of Notch-1 was observed in lymphocytes in several peripheral lymphoid tissues; in particular the germinal centers of lymph nodes showed the most abundant number of positive cells, which appeared to be centroblasts/immunoblasts based on nuclear morphology. Notch-1 participates in keratinocytes differentiation. We showed by Western blot analysis that Notch-1 level was clearly increased in HaCaT cells after Ca++ addition and remained substantially elevated until late differentiation stages. These results suggest that Notch-1 may function in numerous cell types in processes beyond cell fate determination, such as neuronal plasticity, muscle hypertrophy, liver regeneration, and germinal center lymphopoiesis during the immune response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-311
Number of pages9
JournalBiology of the cell / under the auspices of the European Cell Biology Organization
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2004


  • Human tissues
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Notch1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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