The Wnt signaling pathway plays important roles during different stages of neuronal development, including neuronal polarization and dendritic and axonal outgrowth. However, little is known about the identity of the Frizzled receptors mediating these processes. In the present study, we investigated the role of Frizzled-5 (Fzd5) on neuronal development in cultured Sprague-Dawley rat hippocampal neurons. We found that Fzd5 is expressed early in cultured neurons on actin-rich structures localized at minor neurites and axonal growth cones. At 4 DIV, Fzd5 polarizes towards the axon, where its expression is detected mainly at the peripheral zone of axonal growth cones, with no obvious staining at dendrites; suggesting a role of Fzd5 in neuronal polarization. Overexpression of Fzd5 during the acquisition of neuronal polarity induces mislocalization of the receptor and a loss of polarized axonal markers. Fzd5 knock-down leads to loss of axonal proteins, suggesting an impaired neuronal polarity. In contrast, overexpression of Fzd5 in neurons that are already polarized did not alter polarity, but decreased the total length of axons and increased total dendrite length and arborization. Fzd5 activated JNK in HEK293 cells and the effects triggered by Fzd5 overexpression in neurons were partially prevented by inhibition of JNK, suggesting that a non-canonical Wnt signaling mechanism might be involved. Our results suggest that, Fzd5 has a role in the establishment of neuronal polarity, and in the morphogenesis of neuronal processes, in part through the activation of the non-canonical Wnt mechanism involving JNK.
Áreas temáticas de ASJC Scopus