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J Neurochem. 1995 Jun;64(6):2413-26.

Molecular cloning and differential expression patterns of avian glutamate receptor mRNAs.

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Institut für Hirnforschung, Universität Zürich, Switzerland.


We have identified and studied potential ionotropic glutamate receptor genes in pigeon brain. Three cDNA clones exhibit significant amino acid sequence identity to members of a rodent ligand-gated ion channel family. One of them, GluP-II, encodes a full-length AMPA-sensitive glutamate receptor GluR2 (GluR-B) homologue, whereas the other two partial clones, designated as GluP-III and -IV, are nearly identical to rodent GluR3 (GluR-C) and GluR4 (GluR-D) receptor subunits. Northern analysis demonstrated that the avian genes are widely expressed in the brain. Within the brain regions analyzed by in situ hybridization histochemistry, the three avian GluR subunits showed distinct and regionally specific mRNA expression patterns in the adult. Most of the differences in their expression were observed in cell types of the telencephalon, certain thalamic nuclei, the optic tectum, and the cerebellar cortex. A particularly striking finding was the expression of GluP-II in Golgi epithelial/Bergmann glial cells. In contrast, Bergmann glial cells in rat cerebellum do not express GluR2 (GluR-B) subunit genes. Immunoreactivity for a monoclonal sequence-specific antipeptide antibody was widespread and most prominent in Purkinje cell perikarya and their dendrites, neuronal cell bodies of the ectostriatum, and the deep optic tectum. These results demonstrate the existence of multiple subunits of the ionotropic glutamate receptor channel family in avians. Excitatory amino acid receptor genes appear to be highly conserved during evolution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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