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

Expression of metabotropic glutamate receptor mRNAs in the human spinal cord: implications for selective vulnerability of spinal motor neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

To elucidate the relevance of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) to the selective vulnerability of motor neurons in the spinal cord in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), we investigated the distribution of mRNAs coding mGluR1-5 in the normal human spinal cord. The mRNAs for mGluR1, 4 and 5 were observed in the spinal gray matter, whereas mGluR2 mRNA was absent in the spinal cord and mGluR3 mRNA was displayed only on glial cells in the white matter. Signals for mGluR1 and mGluR5 were enriched in the dorsal horn, while mGluR4 mRNA was abundant in the ventral horn. Since agonists to group I mGluRs (mGluR 1 and 5) have been demonstrated to have neuroprotective effects on spinal motor neurons, less expression of mRNAs coding mGluR1 and mGluR5 in the ventral horn than in the dorsal horn may be implicated in the selective susceptibility of spinal motor neurons in ALS.[1]


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