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Brain Res Bull. 2008 Jun 15;76(3):282-8. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2008.02.010. Epub 2008 Mar 4.

Up-regulation of microtubule-associated protein 2 accompanying the filial imprinting of domestic chicks (Gallus gallus domesticus).

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Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Teikyo University, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 229-0195, Japan.


Using cDNA microarrays, we have identified elsewhere the genes of microtubule-associated proteins as a group up-regulated in newly hatched chick brains after filial imprinting training. Here we show by in situ hybridization that the mRNA for the microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) gene was enriched in the mesopallium and the hippocampus in the trained chick brain. The regionally specific enrichments of MAP2 mRNA were not observed in the brain of dark-reared or light-exposed chick as controls, implying an association between the degree of expression and the strength of the learned preference. In agreement with the gene expression, MAP2 protein was accumulated in the mesopallium of the trained chick brain, but not in the brains of the controls. The accumulation of MAP2 was found in the cytosol of neurons and co-localized with beta-tubulin, suggesting a change in microtubule assembly. Our results suggest a postnatal reorganization of cytoskeleton following filial imprinting.

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