Expression of preprotachykinin A (PPT-A) mRNA was analyzed by northern blots using mRNA prepared from rat brain at 12 different developmental stages ranging from embryonic day 15 (E15) to adult. A single PPT-A mRNA of 1.3 kb was detected throughout development. PPT-A mRNA was detected as early as E15 and an approximately 3-fold increase occurred at birth. This amount remained until 3 weeks of age when the level increased, reaching a peak at 5 weeks of age. Adult amounts were approximately 3-fold higher than the levels at birth. The distribution of PPT-A mRNA-expressing cells in rat brain was studied by in situ hybridization on sections from embryonic day 20, postnatal days 4 and 7 as well as adult. Cells expressing PPT-A mRNA were detected in the forebrain at all 4 ages analyzed. However, the hybridization pattern and the labeling intensity varied in different brain regions during development. In cingulate cortex, intense labeling was seen in numerous cells at embryonic day 20 and postnatal days 4 and 7, whereas in the adult cingulate cortex only a few scattered labeled cells were observed. In frontoparietal cortex labeled cells were found from postnatal day 4 to adult, with the highest density of labeled cells at P7. Developmental differences in both the distribution of PPT-A mRNA-expressing cells and the level of PPT-A mRNA expression were also found in caudate-putamen, lateral hypothalamus and amygdala. Thus, our results show several changes in PPT-A mRNA expression during ontogeny, indicating a region and time-specific regulation of PPT-A mRNA expression during brain maturation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Neuroscience
- Developmental Biology
- Gene regulation
- Preprotachykinin A