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Dev Neurosci. 1995;17(5-6):286-91.

Expression of the genes coding for ornithine decarboxylase and its regulatory protein antizyme in the developing rat brain.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Australia.


The ontogenic expression of the genes coding for ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) and its inhibitory protein, antizyme (AZ), was studied in the rat brain between embryonic day (E) 16 and postnatal day (P) 66. The level of ODC mRNA in whole brain was maximal at P2 and rapidly declined by P7 to a low level that was maintained into the adult. Levels of AZ mRNA also peaked at P2, and high levels were sustained into the adult. Regional studies indicated that between P2 and P60 ODC mRNA levels declined in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus and brainstem. These changes reflect the ontogenic pattern of protein levels and enzyme activity suggesting control of this enzyme may occur at the level of transcription. The level of AZ mRNA markedly increased in the cerebellum between P10 and P60. The level of ODC and AZ mRNA at P5 was not altered after continuous suppression of ODC enzyme activity by alpha-difluoromethylornithine between P0 and P5. This suggests that ODC gene expression is not subject to product-related feedback inhibition during this period. Immunohistochemical localisation of ODC protein at P5 revealed ubiquitous distribution of immunoreactivity with higher levels in the hippocampus, cerebral cortex and discrete nuclei in the brainstem. ODC protein was undetectable in the adult rat brain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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