Reports

Brain region and gene specificity of neuropeptide gene expression in cultured astrocytes

Science  28 Jul 1989:
Vol. 245, Issue 4916, pp. 415-417
DOI: 10.1126/science.2569236

Abstract

Astrocytes have many neuronal characteristics, such as neurotransmitter receptors, ion channels, and neurotransmitter uptake systems. Cultured astrocytes were shown to express certain neuropeptide genes, with specificity for both the gene expressed and the brain region from which the cells were prepared. Somatostatin messenger RNA and peptides were detected only in cerebellar astrocytes, whereas proenkephalin messenger RNA and enkephalin peptides were present in astrocytes of cortex, cerebellum, and striatum. Cholecystokinin was not expressed in any of the cells. These results support the hypothesis that peptides synthesized in astrocytes may play a role in the development of the central nervous system.

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