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Postnatal changes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha 2, alpha 3, alpha 4, alpha 7 and beta 2 subunits genes expression in rat brain



Postnatal changes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha 2, alpha 3, alpha 4, alpha 7 and beta 2 subunits genes expression in rat brain



International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience 16(6): 507-518



Postnatal changes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) alpha 2, alpha 3, alpha 4, alpha 7 and beta 2 subunits mRNAs were investigated in rat brain using ribonuclease protection assay. Multiple developmental patterns were observed: (1) transient expression during the first few postnatal weeks; alpha 2 in the hippocampus and brain stem, alpha 3 in the striatum, cerebellum and cortex, alpha 4 in the hippocampus, striatum and cerebellum, alpha 7 in the cerebellum and beta 2 in the striatum. (2) Constant expression across development; alpha 2 and alpha 3 in the thalamus, alpha 4 in the cortex, thalamus and brain stem, alpha 7 in the thalamus and brain stem and beta 2 in all brain regions except striatum. (3) Non-detection across development; alpha 2 in the cortex, striatum and cerebellum. (4) Increase with age; alpha 7 in the cortex and hippocampus. (5) Bell-shaped development; alpha 7 in the striatum. Postnatal changes of nAChR isoforms in different brain regions of rat were investigated by receptor binding assays. The developmental patterns of [3H]epibatidine and (-)-[3H]nicotine binding sites were similar to each other in each brain region, but different from that of [3H] alpha-bungarotoxin binding sites. No obvious correlation was observed between the developmental patterns of [3H] alpha-bungarotoxin, [3H]epibatidine and (-)-[3H]nicotine binding sites and corresponding subunits mRNAs. These results indicate that multiple mechanisms are involved in changes of gene expression of nAChRs subunits in the brain of developing rats.

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Accession: 047024026

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PMID: 9881299


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