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J Comp Neurol. 2000 Jun 5;421(3):374-84.

Regional and cellular distribution of the P2Y(1) purinergic receptor in the human brain: striking neuronal localisation.

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1
Department of Neurobiology, The Babraham Institute, Babraham, Cambridge, CB2 4AT, United Kingdom. darren.moore@bbsrc.ac.uk

Abstract

The biological actions of extracellular nucleotides are exerted via two families of P2 receptors, P2X and P2Y. The metabotropic P2Y receptors comprise at least 7 distinct subtypes, which have been cloned from a number of species. However, none of the P2Y receptor proteins have been visualised yet in human brain. In the present study, the regional and cellular distribution of the P2Y(1) receptor was investigated in the human brain by using immunohistochemistry. Polyclonal antibodies were raised against a synthetic peptide from the C-terminus of the P2Y(1) protein. Immunoblot analysis demonstrated that P2Y(1) antiserum specifically recognised a 63-kDa band in human and rat brain membranes. Similarly, the antiserum specifically detected the human P2Y(1) receptor in transfected 1321N1 cells. Immunohistochemical analysis on perfusion-fixed human brain tissue showed a widespread distribution for this receptor throughout the brain. At the cellular level, the P2Y(1) receptor was strikingly localised to neuronal structures of the cerebral cortex, cerebellar cortex, hippocampus, caudate nucleus, putamen, globus pallidus, subthalamic nucleus, red nucleus, and midbrain. Expression of the P2Y(1) receptor was not detected in other non-neuronal cell types. These results provide the first characterisation of the cellular distribution of a P2Y receptor in the human brain. The widespread and abundant distribution of the P2Y(1) receptor suggests its involvement in a number of important functions within the human brain. The neuronal localisation of this receptor points towards a possible role in neurotransmission, and also highlights a major role for extracellular nucleotides as signaling molecules within the brain.

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