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J Comp Neurol. 1998 Oct 26;400(3):391-407.

Immunohistochemical localization of the mGluR1beta metabotropic glutamate receptor in the adult rodent forebrain: evidence for a differential distribution of mGluR1 splice variants.

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GlaxoWellcome Medicines Research Centre, Verona, Italy.


Alternative splicing has been shown to occur at the metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 (mGluR1) gene. Three main isoforms that differ in their carboxy-termini have been described so far and named mGluR1alpha, mGluR1beta and mGluR1c. These variants when expressed in recombinant systems all activate phospholipase C, although the [Ca2+] signals generated have different kinetics. Tissue distribution studies of specific mGluR1 splice variants are limited to the mGluR1alpha isoform. In the present work, we examined the localization of mGluR1beta in the adult rat and mouse forebrain by using a specific antipeptide antibody. Furthermore, the mGluR1beta immunostaining was compared with that obtained with antibodies specific for mGluR1alpha or with a pan-mGluR1 antibody which recognizes all isoforms. mGluR1beta-like immunoreactivity (LI) was found confined to the neuropil and neuronal perikarya and appeared discretely distributed in the rodent forebrain. Differential cellular distribution between mGluR1alpha and mGluR1beta was observed. In the hippocampus, mGluR1alpha-LI was restricted to non-principal neurons in all fields, whereas mGluR1beta-LI was strongest in principal cells of the CA3 field and dentate granule cells but absent in CA1. We have also shown that the vast majority of neurons in the striatum express mGluR1. The predominant form appeared to be mGluR1beta, with a distribution pattern reflecting the patch-matrix organization of the striatum. The specificity of the immunoreactivity described for mGluR1 splice variants was confirmed in mGluR1-deficient mice. The observation of a different cellular and regional distribution of mGluR1 splice variants, in particular in the hippocampus, suggests that they may mediate different roles in synaptic transmission.

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