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Neurochem Res. 2014 Aug;39(8):1451-7. doi: 10.1007/s11064-014-1334-y. Epub 2014 May 20.

The down-regulation of neuroligin-2 and the correlative clinical significance of serum GABA over-expression in Hirschsprung's disease.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Surgery, Qilu Hospital, Shandong University, 44#, Wenhua Xi Road, Jinan, 250012, Shandong, People's Republic of China.


The goal of this study was to investigate the expression level of neuroligin-2 in different colon tissue segments of children with Hirschsprung's disease (HSCR) and the correlative clinical significance of serum Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (serum GABA) in HSCR. Neuroligin-2 was assessed by Immunohistochemistry staining method on routine paraffin section from different colon tissue segments of HSCR (ganglionic colonic segment, transitional colonic segment and aganglionic colonic segment). Western-blot analysis and real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR(qRT-PCR) were applied to compare and evaluate the expression levels of neuroligin-2 from three segments of HSCR, and we used Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) method to detect and compare the serum GABA between HSCR and non-HSCR. Immunohistochemistry staining demonstrated that intensive neuroligin-2 staining was detected in the ganglion cells in the ganglionic colonic and transitional colonic segments from the HSCR children; however, neuroligin-2 staining was down-regulated significantly in the aganglionic colonic segments. The expression levels of neuroligin-2 mRNA and protein in the aganglionic colonic segment were decreased compared to the ganglionic colonic segment and transitional colonic segment (P < 0.05). And the level of serum GABA was significantly higher in HSCR than that in non-HSCR. The expression of neuroligin-2 varies from different segments of HSCR. The down-regulation of neuroligin-2 in aganglionic colonic segments may be correlated with the excessive intestine contraction and further result in HSCR. The over-expression of serum GABA may be considered as a new diagnostic method of HSCR.

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