Journal of Biomedical Science

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 187–190 | Cite as

Localization of activin and activin receptors in rat spinal motoneurons

  • Shao-Yao Ying
  • Zhong Zhang
  • Charles K. Haun
Original Paper


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 words

Activin Activin receptors Autocrine Growth factor 


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Copyright information

© National Science Council 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shao-Yao Ying
    • 1
  • Zhong Zhang
    • 1
  • Charles K. Haun
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cell and NeurobiologyUniversity of Southern California Medical SchoolLos AngelesUSA

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