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Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 1997 Aug;48(1):7-16.

Persisting expression of galanin in axotomized mamillary and septal neurons of adult rats labeled for c-Jun and NADPH-diaphorase.

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II. Institute of Physiology, University of Heidelberg, Germany.


In adult male rats, the expression of the neuropeptide galanin and its co-localization with the c-Jun transcription factor and the NADPH-diaphorase, the marker enzyme for the nitric oxide synthase (NOS), was investigated by immunohistochemistry in axotomized neurons following unilateral stereotaxic transection of the (a) mamillo-thalamic tract, (b) medial forebrain bundle, (c) fimbria fornix bundle and (d) sciatic nerve. This surgical procedure resulted in axotomy of neurons of (a) mamillary ncl. (MnM), (b) substantia nigra compacta (SNC) and paraventricular ncl. of thalamic (PF) neurons, (c) medial septum (MS) and vertical diagonal band of Broca (VDB), and (d) sciatic motoneurons and dorsal root ganglia (DRG). In all of these axotomized neuronal subpopulations, expression of c-Jun appeared between 24 and 36 h post-axotomy and persisted on substantial levels for 15 days in the SNC and for 30-50 days in the MnM, PF, MS, VBD, sciatic DRG and motoneurons. Expression of galanin was seen in axotomized MnM, MS and DRG, but not in SNC, PF and sciatic motoneurons. Galanin-immunoreactivity (IR) appeared between 3 and 5 days after nerve fiber transection and persisted up to 50 days in the MnM, MS and DRGs. The cytoplasmic galanin-IR was almost completely restricted to those neurons showing a nuclear c-Jun expression. Moreover, galanin expression showed a long-lasting co-localization with those neurons that exhibited an increased NADPH-diaphorase reactivity in the MnM and DRG or a residual NADPH-diaphorase reactivity in MS post-axotomy. Very similar to galanin, NADPH-diaphorase was not affected by axotomy in the SNC, PF or sciatic motoneurons. Our findings suggest a common mechanism for galanin and NOS (NADPH-diaphorase activity) expression. Since the galanin promotor contains an AP-1 binding site, c-Jun might trigger the lasting induction of galanin in NOS-positive central neurons that survive the axotomy-evoked injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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