Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Netrin-1 induces the migration of Schwann cells via p38 MAPK and PI3K-Akt signaling pathway mediated by the UNC5B receptor.

PMID 26116534


Schwann cells (SCs) play an essentially supportive role in the regeneration of injured peripheral nerve system (PNS). As Netrin-1 is crucial for the normal development of nervous system (NS) and can direct the process of damaged PNS regeneration, our study was designed to determine the role of Netrin-1 in RSC96 Schwann cells (an immortalized rat Schwann cell line) proliferation and migration. Our studies demonstrated that Netrin-1 had no effect on RSC96 cells proliferation, while significantly promoted RSC96 cells migration. The Netrin-1-induced RSC96 cells migration was significantly attenuated by inhibition of p38 and PI3K through pretreatment with SB203580 and LY294002 respectively, but not inhibition of MEK1/2 and JNK by U0126-EtOH and SP600125 individually. Treatment with Netrin-1 enhanced the phosphorylation of p38 and Akt. QRT-PCR indicated that Netrin-1 and only its receptors Unc5a, Unc5b and Neogenin were expressed in RSC96 cells, among which Unc5b expressed the most. And UNC5B protein was significantly increased after stimulated by Netrin-1. In conclusion, we show here that Netrin-1-enhanced SCs migration is mediated by activating p38 MAPK and PI3K-Akt signal cascades via receptor UNC5B, which suggests that Netrin-1 could serve as a new therapeutic strategy and has potential application value for PNS regeneration.