Localization of activin and activin receptors in rat spinal motoneurons
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The purpose of this experiment was to determine whether rat spinal motoneurons (a) produce activin protein and (b) transcribe mRNAs coding for the βA-subunit of activin and activin receptors II and IIB. The production of activin was determined by immunocytochemistry. The expression and localization of the mRNAs were elucidated by the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and in situ hybridization techniques. We have observed that activin A protein was produced and mRNAs encoding activin βA-subunit and activin receptors II and IIB were expressed by motoneurons of the rat spinal cord. Furthermore, the identity of RT-PCR products was confirmed by DNA sequencing. It is concluded that activin may have a functional role in the maintenance of rat spinal motoneurons.
Key wordsActivin Activin receptors Autocrine Growth factor
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