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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1990 Jul;87(13):5114-8.

Beta 2-adrenergic receptors are colocalized and coregulated with "whisker barrels" in rat somatosensory cortex.

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School of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104.


Autoradiography has been used to visualize independently the subtypes of beta-adrenergic receptors in rat somatosensory cortex. Beta 2-Adrenergic receptors, but not beta 1-adrenergic receptors colocalize with "whisker barrels" in this tissue. Thus, each whisker sends a specific multisynaptic pathway to the somatosensory cortex that can be histochemically visualized and only one subtype of beta-adrenergic receptor is specifically associated with this cortical representation. Additionally, neonatal lesion of any or all of the whisker follicles results in loss of the corresponding barrel(s) as shown by histochemical markers. This loss is paralleled by a similar loss in the organization of beta 2-adrenergic receptors in the somatosensory cortex. Other results indicate that these beta 2-adrenergic receptors are not involved in moment-to-moment signal transmission in this pathway and, additionally, are not involved in a gross way in the development of whisker-barrel array.

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