PloS one

The Gs-linked receptor GPR3 inhibits the proliferation of cerebellar granule cells during postnatal development.

PMID 19526062


During postnatal murine and rodent cerebellar development, cerebellar granule precursors (CGP) gradually stop proliferating as they differentiate after migration to the internal granule layer (IGL). Molecular events that govern this program remain to be fully elucidated. GPR3 belongs to a family of Gs-linked receptors that activate cyclic AMP and are abundantly expressed in the adult brain. To investigate the role of this orphan receptor in CGP differentiation, we determined that exogenous GPR3 expression in rat cerebellar granule neurons partially antagonized the proliferative effect of Sonic hedgehog (Shh), while endogenous GPR3 inhibition by siRNA stimulated Shh-induced CGP proliferation. In addition, exogenous GPR3 expression in CGPs correlated with increased p27/kip expression, while GPR3 knock-down led to a decrease in p27/kip expression. In wild-type mice, GPR3 expression increased postnatally and its expression was concentrated in the internal granular layer (IGL). In GPR3 -/- mice, the IGL was widened with increased proliferation of CGPs, as measured by bromodeoxyuridine incorporation. Cell cycle kinetics of GPR3-transfected medulloblastoma cells revealed a G0/G1 block, consistent with cell cycle exit. These results thus indicate that GPR3 is a novel antiproliferative mediator of CGPs in the postnatal development of murine cerebellum.