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Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 1996 Jan 22;91(1):140-2.

Co-expression of tyrosine hydroxylase and glutamic acid decarboxylase in dopamine differentiation factor-treated striatal neurons in culture.

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Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Medical College of Pennsylvania and Hahnemann University, Philadelphia 19102, USA.


We have previously shown that dopamine differentiation factors (DDF) can stimulate the novel expression of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in the phenotypically plastic neurons of the embryonic mouse striatum (Du et al., J. Neurosci., 14 (1994) 7688-7694; Du and Iacovitti, J. Neurosci., 15 (1995) 5420-5427). The present study sought to determine whether TH induction required down-regulation of an existing GABAergic trait in striatal neurons or whether enzymes of both neurotransmitter systems were simultaneously expressed. Immunocytochemical analysis revealed that, following treatment with DDFs, TH and the GABA synthesizing enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) were co-expressed in the same neurons. Moreover, GAD enzyme activity was not affected by the dramatic increase in TH. Thus, the induction of a novel neurotransmitter phenotype in brain neurons does not appear to occur at the expense of the existing phenotype.

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