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J Comp Neurol. 1987 Aug 1;262(1):125-40.

Comparative distribution of mRNAs for glutamic acid decarboxylase, tyrosine hydroxylase, and tachykinins in the basal ganglia: an in situ hybridization study in the rodent brain.


Neurotransmitter-related messenger RNAs were detected by in situ hybridization in sections of rat and mouse brains by using 35S-radiolabelled RNA probes transcribed from cDNAs cloned in SP6 promoter-containing vectors. The distribution of messenger RNAs for glutamic acid decarboxylase, tachykinins (substance P and K), and tyrosine hydroxylase was examined in the striatum, pallidum, and substantia nigra. Dense clusters of silver grains were observed with the RNA probe complementary of the cellular messenger RNA for glutamic acid decarboxylase (antisense RNA) over most large neurons in the substantia nigra pars reticulata and medium-sized to large neurons in all pallidal subdivisions. A few very densely and numerous lightly labelled medium-sized neurons were present in the striatum. Among the areas examined, only the striatum contained neurons labelled with the antisense tachykinin RNA. Most of these neurons were of medium size, and a few were large. With the antisense tyrosine hydroxylase RNA, silver grains were found over neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta and adjacent A10 and A8 dopaminergic cell groups. No signal was observed with RNAs identical to the cellular messenger RNA for glutamic acid decarboxylase or tachykinin (sense RNA). These results show a good correlation with immunohistochemical studies, suggesting that documented differences in the distribution and the level of glutamic acid decarboxylase, tyrosine hydroxylase, and substance P immunoreactivities in neurons of the basal ganglia are related to differences in the level of expression of the corresponding genes rather than to translation accessibility, stability, or transport of the gene products.

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