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J Neurosci Res. 1992 Jul;32(3):415-23.

Differential expression of cytochrome oxidase (COX) genes in different regions of monkey brain.

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Laboratory of Neurosciences, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


A frontal pole cDNA library from monkey (Macaca mulatta) brain was screened to identify mRNAs that are expressed more in frontal pole as compared to primary visual cortex. Three cDNA clones, whose greater expression was confirmed by Northern blot analysis, were identified as cytochrome oxidase (COX) subunits I, II, and III (COX I, II, and III). Each clone showed higher levels of mRNA in the frontal pole, dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex, and hippocampus than in the primary visual or somatosensory cortices. COX histochemistry of prefrontal, visual, and somatosensory cortical regions demonstrated heterogeneous distributions, with highest activity in dendrite-rich neuropil of the cortex. A laminar distribution of COX mRNA expression also was demonstrated with in situ hybridization. mRNA was detected in cell bodies and in apical dendrites. These results indicate region specific differences in the distribution of COX activity and in the corresponding mRNA for three of its subunits within the monkey brain. Such differences may be related to differences in the distribution of neuropil as compared with cell bodies among the brain regions studied, and may be relevant to selective vulnerability in Alzheimer's disease.

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