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J Neurosci Methods. 2009 Jan 30;176(2):172-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2008.09.013. Epub 2008 Sep 19.

NMDA receptor subunit expression in GABAergic interneurons in the prefrontal cortex: application of laser microdissection technique.

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  • 1Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Drexel University College of Medicine, 2900 Queen Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19129, United States.


The selective involvement of a subset of neurons in many psychiatric disorders, such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic interneurons in schizophrenia, creates a significant need for in-depth analysis of these cells. Here we introduce a combination of techniques to examine the relative gene expression of N-methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor subtypes in GABAergic interneurons from the rat prefrontal cortex. Neurons were identified by immunostaining, isolated by laser microdissection and RNA was prepared for reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and real-time PCR. These experimental procedures have been described individually; however, we found that this combination of techniques is powerful for the analysis of gene expression in individual identified neurons. This approach provides the means to analyze relevant molecular mechanisms that are involved in the neuropathological process of a devastating brain disorder.

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