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Neuroscience. 2002;115(3):645-56.

Expression analysis of neuroglobin mRNA in rodent tissues.

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Department of Anatomy, Johannes Gutenberg University, 55099, Mainz, Germany.


Neuroglobin is a respiratory protein which was reported to be preferentially expressed in the vertebrate brain. Here we present the first detailed analysis of the expression of neuroglobin in mouse and rat tissues. Neuroglobin mRNA was detected in all brain areas studied. Most, but not all, nerve cells were labeled, suggesting differential expression of Ngb. Neuroglobin mRNA was detected in the peripheral nervous system, explaining previous northern hybridization signals in organs other than the brain. Substantial neuroglobin expression was also found in metabolically active endocrine tissues such as the adrenal and pituitary glands. The granule localization of neuroglobin transcripts in various neuronal extensions let us speculate that peripheral translation of neuroglobin protein occurs. This could have important functional consequences for synaptic plasticity, an active metabolic process that needs large amounts of oxygen. The hybridization signals suggest that the local concentration of neuroglobin is sufficient for its putative primary function as an oxygen-supplying protein.

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