Expression of Notch Receptors and Ligands in the Coccygeal Body.

  Vol. 40 (4) 2019 Neuro endocrinology letters Journal Article   2019; 40(4): 184-194 PubMed PMID:  32087094    Citation

BACKGROUND: The recent discovery of neural stem cells in the sacrococcygeal end of the filum terminale, the presence of remnants of the most powerful toti-potent stem cell generators and inductors, the primitive streak and node, the existence of the unique non-mutator sacrococcygeal teratomas, and the recent disclosing of neuroimmunomodulatory and hematopoietic roles of Luschka's body, indicate that the sacrococcygeal region is a distinctive anatomic environment rich in stem cells and instructive signals, and that the coccygeal body may constitute a more complex entity than a mere caudal, vascularly-derived glomic anastomosis. Ascribed as an arterial-venous shunt located at the tip of the coccyx and analog to the glomera caudalia in other vertebrates, the glomus coccygeum has recently revealed a complex organ with peculiar 3D topology, broad innervation, catecholamine-synthesizing activity, and neutrophil-formation and lymphopoietic-regulating properties. METHODS: In the present research work, we sought to start exploring the potential cell-functional roles of the glomus coccygeum by conducting a methodical assessment of the expression of Notch pathway receptors and ligands in the human Luschka's body. RESULTS: Our data indicates that Notch receptors are dynamically and distinctively expressed in the coccygeal body and that Notch ligands are markedly differentially expressed in newborn and adult coccygeal glomi. CONCLUSIONS: Our observations suggest that Notch signaling may have relevant roles in glomus coccygeum function and biology.

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