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J Histochem Cytochem. 1997 Sep;45(9):1265-77.

Expression of RESP18 in peptidergic and catecholaminergic neurons.

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Department of Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA.


We examined the expression of regulated endocrine-specific protein of 18-kD (RESP18) in selected peptidergic and catecholaminergic neurons of adult rat brain. In the hypothalamic paraventricular, supraoptic, and accessory nuclei, RESP18 mRNA was highly expressed in neurons immunostained for oxytocin and vasopressin. RESP18 mRNA was also highly expressed in paraventricular nucleus neurons immunostained for corticotropin-releasing hormone, thyrotropin-releasing hormone, and somatostatin. RESP18 mRNA was expressed in POMC cells of the arcuate nucleus, in neuropeptide Y cells of the dorsal tegmental nucleus, lateral reticular nucleus, and hippocampus, and in brainstem catecholaminergic neurons. RESP18 mRNA expression was high in all paraventricular and arcuate neurons, but RESP18 protein was detectable in the perikarya of a subset of these neurons, suggesting an important post-transcriptional component to the regulation of RESP18 expression. RESP18 antisera immunostained perikarya but not axon fibers or terminals. Sub-cellular fractionation of homogenates of several hypothalamic nuclei identified RESP18 protein in fractions enriched in endoplasmic reticulum. The presence of 22- and 24-kD RESP18 isoforms in the neural lobe of the pituitary indicated that some RESP18 protein exited the endoplasmic reticulum. The post-transcriptional regulation of RESP18 expression and localization of RESP18 protein primarily to the endoplasmic reticulum suggests that RESP18 plays a regulatory role in peptidergic neurons.

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