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Neuronal tryptophan hydroxylase expression in BALB/cJ and C57Bl/6J mice.

Bach, Helene; Arango, Victoria; Huang, Yung-Yu; Leong, Sharlene; Mann, J John; Underwood, Mark D.
J Neurochem; 118(6): 1067-74, 2011 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21740442
BALB/c is an inbred stress-sensitive mouse strain exhibiting low brain serotonin (5-HT) content and a 5-HT biosynthetic enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase (Tph2) variant reported to have lower catalytic activity compared with other inbred base strains. To evaluate other mechanisms that may explain low 5-HT, we compared BALB/cJ mice and a control inbred strain C57Bl/6J mice, for expression of Tph2 mRNA, TPH2 protein and regional levels of 5-HT and its metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid. Tph2 mRNA and TPH2 protein in brainstem dorsal raphe nuclei was assayed by in situ hybridization and immunocytochemistry respectively. 5-HT and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid were determined by HPLC. BALB/cJ mice had 20% less Tph2 mRNA and 28% fewer TPH2 immunolabeled neurons than C57Bl/6J mice (t = -2.59, p = 0.02). The largest difference in Tph2 transcript expression was in rostral dorsal raphe nuclei (t = 2.731, p = 0.008). 5-HT was 15% lower in the midbrain and 18% lower in the cerebral cortex of BALB/cJ compared with C57Bl/6J mice (p < 0.05). The behavioral differences in BALB/cJ mice relative to the C57Bl/6J strain may be due in part, to fewer 5-HT neurons and lower Tph2 gene expression resulting in less 5-HT neurotransmission. Future studies quantifying expression per neuron are needed to determine whether less expression is explained by fewer neurons or also less expression per neuron, or both.
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