Autoradiography with 3H-labeled phorbol dibutyrate was used for the light microscopic detection of phorbol ester receptors in rat fetuses. In 15- and 18-day fetuses, as well as in adult rats, receptors were found to be concentrated in the central nervous system. The localization of receptors in the ventral marginal zone of the fetal neural tube, the lens of the eye, and other sites suggests a role for phorbol ester receptors in cellular process extension and cell-cell interaction.

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