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      Co-Expression of Tyrosine Hydroxylase and GTP Cyclohydrolase I in Arginine Vasopressin-Synthesizing Neurons of the Human Supraoptic Nucleus Demonstrated by Laser Microdissection and Real-Time PCR

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          Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the first and limiting enzyme for catecholamine synthesis, has been identified immunohistochemically (IHC) in human neurosecretory neurons where it is found to colocalize with vasopressin (AVP) or oxytocin. TH expression shows striking interindividual variability and appears to depend on neuronal activation. Since GTP cyclohydrolase I (GCHI), the first enzyme for tetrahydrobiopterin synthesis, the essential cofactor of TH, and aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) have so far not been detected in neurosecretory neurons, the functional role of TH in catecholamine synthesis is still questionable. Our purpose was to investigate in postmortem hypothalamus whether GCHI and AADC mRNAs are co-expressed with TH in human AVP-synthesizing neurons. Total RNA was extracted from laser microdissected TH-IHC-identified neurons as well as from dissected parts of the dorsolateral supraoptic nucleus (dl-SON) of 12 control subjects, i.e. without known neurological, psychiatric or endocrinological illness. GCHI, AADC and TH mRNA expression was determined by real-time PCR. Our results showed that GCHI mRNA is co-expressed with TH in almost all cases that had a considerable number of TH-immunoreactive (TH-IR) neurosecretory neurons. A positive correlation was found between TH-immunohistochemical intensity and the presence of GCHI mRNA. AADC mRNA expression was detected only in microdissected areas of dl-SON in 2 cases that showed an increased number of TH-IR neurons. The co-expression of GCHI with TH indicates that TH is indeed active in human neurosecretory neurons. The apparent limited expression of AADC indicates that dopamine might be produced in human neurosecretory neurons under activation of the hypothalamoneurohypophyseal system, although the possibility that L-dopa is the final product cannot be excluded.

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          Most cited references 29

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          Analysis of gene expression in single live neurons.

          We present here a method for broadly characterizing single cells at the molecular level beyond the more common morphological and transmitter/receptor classifications. The RNA from defined single cells is amplified by microinjecting primer, nucleotides, and enzyme into acutely dissociated cells from a defined region of rat brain. Further processing yields amplified antisense RNA. A second round of amplification results in greater than 10(6)-fold amplification of the original starting material, which is adequate for analysis--e.g., use as a probe, making of cDNA libraries, etc. We demonstrate this method by constructing expression profiles of single live cells from rat hippocampus. This profiling suggests that cells that appear to be morphologically similar may show marked differences in patterns of expression. In addition, we characterize several mRNAs from a single cell, some of which were previously undescribed, perhaps due to "rarity" when averaged over many cell types. Electrophysiological analysis coupled with molecular biology within the same cell will facilitate a better understanding of how changes at the molecular level are manifested in functional properties. This approach should be applicable to a wide variety of studies, including development, mutant models, aging, and neurodegenerative disease.
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            A single human gene encoding multiple tyrosine hydroxylases with different predicted functional characteristics.

             B Grima,  A Lamouroux,  C Boni (1987)
            Catecholaminergic systems in discrete regions of the brain are thought to be important in affective psychoses, learning and memory, reinforcement and sleep-wake cycle regulation. Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) is the first enzyme in the pathway of catecholamine synthesis. Its importance is reflected in the diversity of the mechanisms that have been described which control its activity; TH levels vary both during development and as a function of the activity of the nervous system. Recently, we deduced the complete amino-acid sequence of rat TH from a complementary DNA clone encoding a functional enzyme. Here we demonstrate that, in man, TH molecules are encoded by at least three distinct messenger RNAs. The expression of these mRNAs varies in different parts of the nervous system. The sequence differences observed are confined to the 5' termini of the messengers and involve alternative splicing events. This variation has clear functional consequences for each putative form of the enzyme and could represent a novel means of regulating catecholamine levels in normal and pathological neurons.
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              Biosynthesis and metabolism of tetrahydrobiopterin and molybdopterin.


                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                March 2007
                30 March 2007
                : 84
                : 6
                : 386-395
                aDepartment of Psychiatry, University of Athens and bUniversity Mental Health Research Institute, Athens, Greece; cNetherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN) and dNetherlands Brain Bank, NIN, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
                97487 Neuroendocrinology 2006;84:386–395
                © 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 2, References: 41, Pages: 10
                Posterior Pituitary Hormones


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