Developmental regulation of phosphoprotein gene expression in the caudate-putamen of rat: An in situ hybridization study

E. L. Gustafson, M. E. Ehrlich, P. Trivedi, P. Greengard

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29 Scopus citations


The regional and cellular ontogeny of the mRNA encoding the dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein, DARPP-32, has been studied in rat striatum by quantitative in situ hybridization histochemistry. The mRNA for DARPP-32 exhibited a characteristic developmental profile. The hybridization signal was first visible on the day of birth, at which time DARPP-32 mRNA was concentrated in patches in the caudate-putamen. By the end of the first postnatal week, the majority of neurons in the caudate putamen expressed the DARPP-32 message. Levels of mRNA per cell increased markedly during the second postnatal week and peaked around the beginning of the third week. The adult level of DARPP-32 mRNA was lower than that observed at the apex of mRNA expression, on a per cell basis, while the proportion of neurons expressing detectable levels of message remained relatively constant. In the nucleus accumbens and olfactory tubercle, DARPP-32 mRNA development lagged somewhat behind that observed in the caudate-putamen, but was similar in other respects. A non-quantitative study employing an oligonucleotide probe complementary to the mRNA encoding another cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein, ARPP-21, revealed a similar developmental sequence to DARPP-32. The present results suggest that for DARPP-32 mRNA, genetic and, possibly, environmental factors play a role in determining the developmental patterns observed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-75
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1992
Externally publishedYes


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