Expression of c-fos protein in brain: metabolic mapping at the cellular level

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Science  03 Jun 1988:
Vol. 240, Issue 4857, pp. 1328-1331
DOI: 10.1126/science.3131879


The proto-oncogene c-fos is expressed in neurons in response to direct stimulation by growth factors and neurotransmitters. In order to determine whether the c-fos protein (Fos) and Fos-related proteins can be induced in response to polysynaptic activation, rat hindlimb motor/sensory cortex was stimulated electrically and Fos expression examined immunohistochemically. Three hours after the onset of stimulation, focal nuclear Fos staining was seen in motor and sensory thalamus, pontine nuclei, globus pallidus, and cerebellum. Moreover, 24-hour water deprivation resulted in Fos expression in paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei. Fos immunohistochemistry therefore provides a cellular method to label polysynaptically activated neurons and thereby map functional pathways.

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