Nigrostriatal projecting neurons express GDNF receptor subunit RET in adult rats
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Nigrostriatal neurons expressing RET protein, a receptor protein tyrosine kinase of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), were investigated in rats using retrograde neural tracing with horseradish peroxidase (HRP) combined with immunohistochemistry. HRP/RET double-labeled neurons were abundantly distributed in the substantia nigra pars compacta ipsilateral to the caudate-putamen stereotaxically injected with HRP. Almost all the HRP-labeled neurons in nigra exhibited RET-like immunoreactivity, which however constituted more than half of the RET-immunoreactive cells. Our results present morphological evidence that GDNF-RET interaction plays important roles in physiological processes of nigrostriatal neuronal circuits of mammals.
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Guo-Dong Gao, Department of Neurosurgery, Institute for Functional Neurosurgery P.L.A, TangDu Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xian, P.R. China