Molecular chaperone αb-crystallin is expressed in the human fetal telencephalon at midgestation by a subset of progenitor cells

Elizabeth Kida, Teresa Wierzba-Bobrowicz, Sonia Palminiello, Kulbir Kaur, Katarzyna Jarza̧bek, Marius Walus, Giorgio Albertini, Adam A. Golabek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


αB-crystallin (CRYAB) is a small heat shock protein with a chaperoning activity that is present in the postnatal healthy human brain in oligodendrocytes and in a few astrocytes. The involvement of CRYAB in cell differentiation, proliferation, signaling, cytoskeletal assembly, and apoptosis in various model systems has suggested that it might also play a role in the developing human brain. We analyzed the distribution and the levels of this molecular chaperone in healthy and polygenetically compromised (Down syndrome [DS]) human telencephalon at midgestation. We demonstrate that CRYAB is expressed in a temporospatial pattern by numerous radial glial cells and some early oligodendrocyte progenitors, including dividing cells, as well as a few astroglial cells in both healthy and DS fetalbrains. We also found abundant phosphorylation of CRYAB atSer-59, which mediates its antiapoptotic and cytoskeletal functions. There was only marginal phosphorylation at Ser-45.In contrast to our earlier study in young DS subjects, upregulation of phosphorylated CRYAB occurred rarely in DS fetuses. The distribution, the timing of appearance, and the results of colocalization studies suggest that CRYAB assists in the biological processes associated with developmental remodeling/differentiation and proliferation of select subpopulations of progenitor cells in human fetal brain at midgestation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)745-759
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010


  • αB-Crystallin
  • Down syndrome
  • Human brain development
  • Oligodendrocyte progenitors
  • PDGFRα
  • Radial glial cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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