Expression of exogenous LIN28 contributes to proliferation and survival of mouse primary cortical neurons in vitro

M. I H Bhuiyan, J. H. Lee, S. Y. Kim, K. O. Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


LIN28, an RNA-binding protein, is known to be involved in the regulation of many cellular processes, such as embryonic stem cell proliferation, cell fate succession, developmental timing, and oncogenesis. In this study, we investigated the effect of constitutively expressing exogenous LIN28 on neuronal cell proliferation and viability in vitro. Plasmids containing LIN28-green fluorescent protein (GFP) or GFP were introduced into the embryonic mouse brains at E14.5 by in utero electroporation. Two days after electroporation, embryonic cortices were harvested and cultured. It was found that transfected cells stably overexpressed LIN28 in vitro. Viability curve from live cell imaging showed that the number of GFP-expressing cells decreased over time in line with naive primary cortical neurons. In contrast, the number of LIN28-GFP-overexpressing neurons initially increased and remained high at later time-points in culture than GFP-expressing cells. Double immunofluorescence showed that at an early time in culture, the number of Ki-67/GFP double-positive cells was higher in the LIN28-GFP group than that of controls. Moreover, there were significantly lower numbers of condensed nuclei/GFP- and cleaved caspase-3/GFP-positive cells in the LIN28-GFP groups compared to control GFP. Furthermore, it was confirmed that the LIN28-GFP-expressing cells at days in vitro (DIV)13 were neuronal nuclei (NeuN)-positive mature neurons. Finally, the expression of insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF-2) was induced in LIN28-expressing primary cortical neurons, which was not detected in controls. Taken together, our results indicate that the expression of exogenous LIN28 can promote the proliferation of neural progenitor cells and exert prosurvival effect on primary cortical neurons by inhibiting caspase-dependent apoptosis, possibly via upregulation of IGF-2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)448-458
Number of pages11
StatePublished - Sep 17 2013


  • Apoptosis
  • Cell proliferation
  • In utero electroporation
  • LIN28
  • Primary cortical neuron
  • Prosurvival effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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