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Neurosci Lett. 2007 Sep 13;424(3):170-4. Epub 2007 Aug 9.

Immunohistochemical localization of TRPC6 in the rat substantia nigra.

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Santa Lucia Foundation Hospital at the European Center for Brain Research, Laboratory of Neuroanatomy, Rome, Italy.


Transient receptor potential channels (TRPC) are plasma membrane, nonselective cationic channels and have been proposed as candidates involved in the regulation of cellular Ca2+ influx [D.E. Clapham, L.W. Runnels, C., Strubing, The TRP ion channel family, Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 2 (2001) 387-396; A. Martorana, C. Giampa, Z. DeMarch, M.T. Viscomi, S. Patassini, G. Sancesario, G. Bernardi, F.R. Fusco, Distribution of TRPC1 receptors in dendrites of rat substantia nigra: a confocal and electron microscopy study, Eur. J. Neurosci. 24 (2006) 732-738]. Studies on regional localization patterns of TRPCs are necessary to provide helpful guidelines for correlating current types with particular channels. In this study, we examined the distribution of one particular member of TRPC superfamily, namely, TRPC6, in the substantia nigra of normal rat brain. Single and double label immunohistochemistry were employed to perform both light and confocal microscopy observations. Our single label studies showed that, in the substantia nigra, TRPC6 labeled the perikarya with a diffuse and intense immunoreaction product distributed throughout cell cytoplasm whereas only a light immunostaining was observed in the cell nuclei. No labeling of axon or terminals was observed, although TRPC6 was evenly distributed in the neuropil. Our dual label studies showed a TRPC6 immunoreactivity pattern that was localized into the proximal dendrites and axon hillock of the large dopaminergic neurons identified by TH immunoreaction. Furthermore, our double label immunofluorescence study for TRPC6 and mGluR1 showed a complete co-localization of the two markers in the substantia nigra. Moreover, TRPC6 did not co-localize with synaptophysin. Thus, our study shows the postsynaptic localization of TRPC6 and its association with mGluR1 in the midbrain dopamine neurons.

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