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Pharmacol Res. 1989 May-Jun;21(3):299-311.

Combined in situ hybridization and immunocytochemistry in the assay of pharmacological effects on tyrosine hydroxylase mRNA concentration.

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  • 1Andrus Gerontology Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles 90089-0191.


An assay for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) mRNA by in situ hybridization in combination with immunocytochemistry (ICC) for TH on the same section is described. The in situ hybridization protocol was optimized for [35S]cRNA (complementary RNA, i.e. anti-sense strand) probe concentration and time of hybridization. The specificity of hybridization was measured by several critera. The advantage of measuring grain density versus grains per cell is discussed for quantitation of in situ autoradiography. Finally, the reserpine-induced increase in adrenal TH mRNA was used to validate quantitative aspects of the in situ hybridization technique by comparison with blot hybridization. In contrast to the adrenal, reserpine did not increase TH mRNA in substantia nigra (s. nigra) neurons as measured by either technique.

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