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Neuroscience. 2000;98(3):493-500.

Changes in expression of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunits in the rat neostriatum after a single dose of antisense oligonucleotide specific for N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor 1 subunit.

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Department of Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, China.


In order to investigate the process of gene expression of N-methyl-D-aspartate glutamate receptor (NMDAR) subunits in the rat neostriatum and how this relates to motor behaviors, a single dose of antisense phosphodiester oligodeoxynucleotide specific for NMDAR1 was unilaterally applied in the neostriatum in a stereotaxic apparatus. After one day of antisense treatment, ipsilateral rotation behaviors that were induced by apomorphine were found in the treated animals. Reductions in the levels of expression of NMDAR1 and NMDAR2A messenger RNAs (NMDAR1: 20.6%; NMDAR2A: 19.7%) were found in the antisense-treated striatal tissues by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. There was no change in the levels of NMDAR2B, NMDAR2C and NMDAR2D messenger RNAs. After two days, western blotting experiments showed that there were decreases in the levels of expression of NMDAR1 (decreased 27.6%) and NMDAR2A (decreased 19.2%) proteins in the NMDAR1 antisense-treated striatal tissues. In addition, NMDAR1 immunoreactivity was found to decrease in intensity in the NMDAR1 antisense-treated neostriatum. At the cellular level, the intensity of NMDAR1 immunoreactivity in perikarya of presumed medium spiny neurons was found to decrease. These results indicate that a single dose of NMDAR1 antisense modifies the expression of NMDAR1 messenger RNA and protein in neurons in the neostriatum. The modification in the expression of NMDAR1 has differential effects in the expression of NMDAR2 subunits. Gene expression of the native NMDAR subunits is likely to be a dynamic process. The change in gene expression of the NMDAR subunits in the neostriatum may have a profound effect on the motor behaviors of rats.

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