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Differentiation. 2009 Apr;77(4):377-85. doi: 10.1016/j.diff.2008.11.002. Epub 2009 Jan 20.

Postnatal expression of V2 vasopressin receptor splice variants in the rat cerebellum.

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Department of Physiology, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia 509-9200, Chile.


The V(2) vasopressin receptor gene contains an alternative splice site in exon-3, which leads to the generation of two splice variants (V(2a) and V(2b)) first identified in the kidney. The open reading frame of the alternatively spliced V(2b) transcript encodes a truncated receptor, showing the same amino acid sequence as the canonical V(2a) receptor up to the sixth transmembrane segment, but displaying a distinct sequence to the corresponding seventh transmembrane segment and C-terminal domain relative to the V(2a) receptor. Here, we demonstrate the postnatal expression of V(2a) and V(2b) variants in the rat cerebellum. Most importantly, we showed by in situ hybridization and immunocytochemistry that both V(2) splice variants were preferentially expressed in Purkinje cells, from early to late postnatal development. In addition, both variants were transiently expressed in the neuroblastic external granule cells and Bergmann fibers. These results indicate that the cellular distributions of both splice variants are developmentally regulated, and suggest that the transient expression of the V(2) receptor is involved in the mechanisms of cerebellar cytodifferentiation by AVP. Finally, transfected CHO-K1 expressing similar amounts of both V(2) splice variants, as that found in the cerebellum, showed a significant reduction in the surface expression of V(2a) receptors, suggesting that the differential expression of the V(2) splice variants regulates the vasopressin signaling in the cerebellum.

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