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Brain Res. 1999 Aug 14;838(1-2):158-65.

Neuron-specific expression of cationic amino acid transporter 3 in the adult rat brain.

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  • 1Department of Structural Analysis, National Cardiovascular Research Institute, 5-7-1 Fujishirodai, Suita, Osaka 565, Japan.


CAT3 (cationic amino acid transporter 3) is a member of the murine CAT family which bears a system y(+) transport activity. On the Northern blot of adult rat tissues, the expression of CAT3 is restricted to the brain. In the present study, cellular localization of CAT3 mRNA and protein in the adult rat brain sections was examined by in situ hybridization with cRNA and immunostaining with a CAT3-specific antiserum, respectively. CAT3 mRNA was present both in the cerebral and cerebellar gray matter but most prominently in the nuclei located in the ventromedial part of the brain. These included preoptic nucleus, hypothalamic nucleus, reticular nucleus of thalamus, substantia nigra, central gray around the third ventricle and amygdala. CAT3 protein was also detected both in the cerebral and cerebellar gray matter and strong immunostaining was obtained in the olfactory cortex, hippocampus and cerebellar granular and Purkinje cell layers. Observations at higher magnifications revealed that both mRNA and protein were expressed by neurons but neither by glial nor endothelial cells. These results confirm the neuron-specificity of CAT3 in the adult rat brain and indicate that CAT3 is responsible for the neuronal system y(+) activity. The discrepancy between the distribution of mRNA and its translation product suggests a regional difference in the translation rate of the CAT3 transcript.

Copyright 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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