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J Mol Histol. 2006 Nov;37(8-9):369-80. Epub 2006 Nov 11.

EphB3 receptor and ligand expression in the adult rat brain.

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Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, School of Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA.


Eph receptors and ligands are two families of proteins that control axonal guidance during development. Their expression was originally thought to be developmentally regulated but recent work has shown that several EphA receptors are expressed postnatally. The EphB3 receptors are expressed during embryonic development in multiple regions of the central nervous system but their potential expression and functional role in the adult brain is unknown. We used in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, and receptor affinity probe in situ staining to investigate EphB3 receptors mRNA, protein, and ligand (ephrin-B) expression, respectively, in the adult rat brain. Our results indicate that EphB3 receptor mRNA and protein are constitutively expressed in discrete regions of the adult rat brain including the cerebellum, raphe pallidus, hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, and both motor and sensory cortices. The spatial profile of EphB3 receptors was co-localized to regions of the brain that had a high level of EphB3 receptor binding ligands. Its expression pattern suggests that EphB3 may play a role in the maintenance of mature neuronal connections or re-arrangement of synaptic connections during late stages of development.

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