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

Ionotropic glutamate receptor subunits are differentially regulated in the motoneuronal pools of the rat hypoglossal nucleus in response to axotomy.

Unilateral hypoglossal nerve axotomy was used as a model to analyse immunohistochemically the expression of the GluR1, GluR2, GluR3, and GluR4 glutamate receptor subunits of the alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionate (AMPA) subtype and the NR1 subunit of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) subtype in the different morphofunctional hypoglossal pools from 1 to 45 days postaxotomy. Following hypoglossal nerve axotomy, the percentage of motoneurons that were GluR1-immunopositive and the labeling intensity for this subunit was increased in some hypoglossal pools. Immunolabeling for the GluR2 subunit was undetectable. These results contrast with the unchanged pattern for these two subunits after sciatic nerve axotomy previously described. Image analysis showed a significant decrease in the intensity of immunohistochemical labeling for the GluR2/3 and GluR4 subunits in motoneurons, although most motoneurons were still immunopositive for these 2 subunits after axotomy. The intensity of immunolabeling for the NR1 subunit was slightly decreased postlesion, whereas the percentage of NR1-immunopositive motoneurons increased. Immunoreactivity returned to basal levels 45 days postlesion. These findings show that in axotomized hypoglossal motoneurons, i) AMPA and NMDA receptor subunits are still expressed, ii) the composition of the ionotropic glutamate receptor subunit pool is subjected to continuous changes during the regeneration process, iii) AMPA receptors, if functional, would have physiological properties different to those in intact motoneurons, and iv) the various AMPA receptor subunits are differentially regulated. The present results also suggest a faster recovery of basal levels of immunoreactivity for caudally localised groups of motoneurons which could reflect a caudo-rostral sequential functional recovery in the hypoglossal nucleus.[1]


  1. Ionotropic glutamate receptor subunits are differentially regulated in the motoneuronal pools of the rat hypoglossal nucleus in response to axotomy. García Del Caño, G., Gerrikagoitia, I., Sarasa, M., Matute, C., Martínez-Millán, L. J. Neurocytol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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