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Neuroscience. 1992 Sep;50(1):11-22.

Localization of AMPA receptors in the hippocampus and cerebellum of the rat using an anti-receptor monoclonal antibody.

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Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


The primary amino acid sequences of the kainate binding proteins from the amphibian and avian central nervous systems are homologous with the functional alpha-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-isoxazole-4-propionate receptors that have been cloned from rat brain. In this study, we have analysed the anatomical and subcellular distribution of the alpha-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-isoxazole-4-propionate receptors in the rat hippocampus and cerebellum, using a monoclonal antibody that was raised against a kainate binding protein purified from frog brain. Immunoblots of rat hippocampus and cerebellum, and membranes from COS cells transfected with rat brain alpha-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-isoxazole-4-propionate receptor cDNAs (GluR1, GluR2, or GluR3) showed a major immunoreactive band migrating at a relative molecular weight of 107,000. In the cerebellum, an additional immunoreactive protein of approximately 128,000 mol. wt was also seen on immunoblots probed with the antibody. The distribution of this protein is apparently restricted to the cerebellum since the 128,000 mol. wt band was not present in other brain areas examined. The identity of the 128,000 mol. wt cerebellar protein is not known. Immunocytochemical analyses of the hippocampus demonstrated that alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazole-4-propionate receptor subunits are present in the cell bodies and dendrites of pyramidal cells. The granule cells were also immunostained. All of the pyramidal cell subfields were heavily labeled. In the pyramidal cell bodies, a high level of immunoreactivity was observed throughout the cytoplasm. In the cerebellum, the Purkinje cell bodies and dendrites also displayed very high levels of immunoreactivity. In addition to the Purkinje neurons, the Bergmann glia and some Golgi neurons were clearly immunostained. Subcellular fractionation and lesioning experiments using the excitotoxin domoic acid indicated that the alpha-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-isoxazole-4-propionate receptor subunits were associated with postsynaptic membranes. Direct visualization of the immunoreactivity using electron microscopy confirmed the postsynaptic localization of the staining in the dendritic areas in both the hippocampus and the cerebellum. Thus, unlike the kainate binding proteins, which are found primarily extrasynaptically in the frog and on glial cells in the chicken cerebellum, the GluR1, GluR2, and GluR3 receptor subunits are localized to the postsynaptic membrane in the dendrites of neurons in the rat central nervous system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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