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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Carnosine-like immunoreactivity in the central nervous system of rats during postnatal development.

In the nervous system of adult rodents, the aminoacylhistidine dipeptides (carnosine and/or homocarnosine) have been shown to be expressed in three main populations of cells: the mature olfactory receptor neurons, a subset of glial cells, and the neuroblasts of the rostral migratory stream. The current study analyzed the distribution of these dipeptides during postnatal development within the rat brain and spinal cord focusing on their pattern of appearance in the glial cells. Double staining methods using antibodies against carnosine and some markers specific for immature (vimentin) and mature (glial fibrillary acidic protein and Rip) glial cell types were used. Glial immunostaining for the aminoacylhistidine dipeptides appears starting from postnatal day 6 and reaches the final distribution in 3-week-old animals. The occurrence of carnosine-like immunoreactivity in astrocytes lags behind that in oligodendrocytes suggesting that, as previously demonstrated by in vitro studies, oligodendrocytes are also able to synthesize carnosine and/or homocarnosine in vivo. Furthermore, the spatiotemporal patterns observed support the hypothesis that the production of these dipeptides coincides with the final stages of glia differentiation. In addition, a strong carnosine-like immunoreactivity is transiently seen in a small population of cells localized in the hypothalamus and in the subfornical organ from birth to postnatal day 21. In these cells, carnosine-like immunoreactivity was not colocalized with any of the glial specific markers used. Moreover, no evidence for colocalization of carnosine and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) has been observed.[1]


  1. Carnosine-like immunoreactivity in the central nervous system of rats during postnatal development. De Marchis, S., Modena, C., Peretto, P., Giffard, C., Fasolo, A. J. Comp. Neurol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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