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

Immunocytochemical localization of aspartate aminotransferase immunoreactivity in cochlear nucleus of the guinea pig.

There is substantial evidence supporting the role of aspartate or glutamate as the neurotransmitter of the auditory nerve. The concentration of aspartate aminotransferase (L-aspartate:2-oxoglutarate aminotransferase, EC, an enzyme associated with the metabolism of these amino acids, is high in axons and terminals of the auditory nerve. Antibodies were raised against aspartate aminotransferase and used in immunocytochemical studies to determine its localization in the cochlear nucleus of the guinea pig. Indirect immunofluorescence techniques were used for light microscopic localization of aspartate aminotransferase-like immunoreactivity in normal guinea pigs and guinea pigs with auditory nerve lesions. Fluorescent rings of aspartate aminotransferase-like immunoreactivity were seen around spherical cells in the anteroventral cochlear nucleus. In animals with auditory nerve lesions, rings were no longer seen in the ipsilateral cochlear nucleus. Immunoreactivity was also seen on cells in the posteroventral cochlear nucleus and in auditory nerve fibers. Ultrastructural studies were done in the rostral anteroventral cochlear nucleus, using the peroxidase-antiperoxidase technique. Aspartate aminotransferase-like immunoreactivity was seen at axosomatic synapses on large spherical cells in terminals with the morphological characteristics of auditory nerve terminals. Other classes of terminals on the soma of large spherical cells showed no immunoreactivity. It was concluded that aspartate aminotransferase-like immunoreactivity is present in axons and terminals of the auditory nerve. These findings indicate that aspartate aminotransferase-like immunoreactivity may serve as a marker at terminals where aspartate or glutamate is a neurotransmitter.[1]


  1. Immunocytochemical localization of aspartate aminotransferase immunoreactivity in cochlear nucleus of the guinea pig. Altschuler, R.A., Neises, G.R., Harmison, G.G., Wenthold, R.J., Fex, J. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1981) [Pubmed]
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