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Neuroreport. 1997 Aug 18;8(12):2695-9.

Metabotropic glutamate receptor mRNA expression in rat spinal cord.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences and Biotechnologies, Brescia University Medical School, Italy.


It has recently become clear that, analogous to the situation observed in the brain, glutamatergic neurotransmission in the spinal cord relies upon the activation of ionotropic and metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs). Although electrophysiological studies have emphasized the relevance of mGluR activation in the modulation of spinal neuron responses to glutamate, a detailed study of the molecular forms of receptors belonging to the mGluR family in the spinal cord is still lacking. Using a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction technique with primers specifically recognizing each cloned mGluR subtype, we found that rat adult spinal cord specifically expresses high levels of mRNA encoding mGluR1a but not mGluR1b. The expression of mRNAs for mGluRs 5a and 5b was also found at levels roughly comparable to that observed in mGluR5-positive brain areas. mGluR2, mGluR3, mGluR4 and mGluR7 mRNAs appeared to be expressed at lower levels, while mGluR6 and mGluR8 mRNAs were not detectable.

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