ST14A cells have properties of a medium-size spiny neuron

Michelle E. Ehrlich, Luciano Conti, Mauro Toselli, Luca Taglietti, Edgardo Fiorillo, Vanni Taglietti, Sanja Ivkovic, Barbara Guinea, Anna Tranberg, Simonetta Sipione, Dorotea Rigamonti, Elena Cattaneo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ST14A cell line was previously derived from embryonic day 14 rat striatal primordia by retroviral transduction of the temperature-sensitive SV40 large T antigen. We showed that cell division and expression of nestin persists at 33°C, the permissive temperature, whereas cell division ceases, nestin expression decreases, and MAP2 expression increases at the nonpermissive temperature of 39°C. In this study, we further characterized the cells and found that they express other general and subtype-specific neuronal characteristics. ST14A cells express enolase and βIII-tubulin. Furthermore, they express the striatal marker DARPP-32, which is up-regulated upon differentiation of the cells by growth in serum-free medium. Stimulation with dopamine, the D2-dopamine receptor agonist quinpirole, or the D1-dopamine receptor agonist SKF82958 results in phosphorylation of CREB. Treatment of the cells with a mixture of reagents which stimulate the MAPK and adenylyl cyclase pathways radically changes the morphology of the ST14A cells. The cells develop numerous neurite-like appearing processes which stain with βIII-tubulin. Moreover, under these conditions, intracellular injection of rectangular depolarizing current stimuli elicits overshooting action potentials with a relatively fast depolarization rate when starting from a strongly hyperpolarized membrane potential. Taken together, these data imply that the ST14A cell line displays some of the characteristics of a medium-size spiny neuron subtype and provides a new tool to elucidate the pathways and molecules involved in medium-size spiny neuron differentiation and disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-226
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Neurology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Neurosciences


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