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Brain Res. 2007 Apr 20;1142:54-60. Epub 2007 Jan 13.

Neuron-specific nuclear antigen NeuN is not detectable in gerbil subtantia nigra pars reticulata.

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Department of Comparative Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5342, USA.


NeuN (Neuronal Nuclei), the neuron-specific marker of nuclear protein is used extensively in histological procedures to identify major cell-types in adult vertebrate nervous systems of a variety of species including rodents and humans. Some notable exceptions (i.e., NeuN-negative neurons) include Purkinje cells in cerebellum, mitral cells in olfactory bulb, and photoreceptors in retina. Here we report that neurons in gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus) substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr), whose "neuronal" phenotype was confirmed via electrophysiology, biocytin-labeling, histology, and in situ hybridization, are also devoid of NeuN-immunoreactivity as assayed with the widely used monoclonal antibody A60. Immunohistochemistry of rat SNr using the same antibody yielded robust staining. These data suggest lack of NeuN-immonoreactivity observed in certain cell-types and brain regions can be species-specific.

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