Gene expression of the α2,8sialyltransferase (α2,8S-T) responsible for GD3 synthesis in the adult mouse brain and retina was analysed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction/Southern blotting (RT-PCR/Southern) and in situ hybridization. Among various portions of the brain, high levels of 9.5 kb mRNA were observed in the retina and midbrain. Results of RT-PCR/Southern did not necessarily correlate with the enzyme activities in the individual sites. In situ hybridization analysis revealed that this gene was characteristically expressed in the inner segment of photoreceptor cells, some nuclei in the midbrain, cranial nerve nuclei in the pons-medulla, Purkinje cells in the cerebellum, pyramidal cells of the hippocampus and granular cells of the dentate gyrus. In the retina, the α2,8S-T gene was broadly expressed over the layers during development, and retained high expression levels in the photoreceptor cells of adult mice consistent with high expression of GD3. Destruction of neurons in the hippocampus and dentate gyrus by injection of kainic acid and colchicine respectively resulted in the disappearance of the hybridization signal, suggesting that the α2,8S-T gene was mainly expressed by neurons.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology