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Differential expression of calcium channel subtypes in the bovine adrenal medulla

AuthorsGarcía-Palomero, Esther; Renart, Jaime ; Andrés-Mateos, Eva; Montiel, Carmen
Issue Date2001
PublisherS. Karger AG
CitationNeuroendocrinology 74(4): 251-261 (2001)
AbstractThis study aimed at determining the distribution and expression levels of different subtypes of Ca2+ channels in the bovine adrenal medulla, and whether individual subtypes were more abundant in chromaffin cells exhibiting an adrenergic or a noradrenergic phenotype. In situ hybridization using riboprobes specific for the pore-forming Ca2+ channel α1D (L-type channel), α1B (N-type channel), and α1A (P/Q-type channel) subunits of bovine chromaffin cells showed a broad distribution of the three transcripts in adrenal medulla tissue. However, a tissue-specific expression pattern of individual subunits was found; whereas α1B mRNA was homogeneously distributed throughout the medulla, α1D and α1A transcripts were present at higher densities in the internal medullary area, far away from the adrenal cortex. These results were corroborated by comparative analysis of the α1B, α1D, and α1A products amplified by RT-PCR from total RNA extracted from small pieces of tissue dissected out from external or internal medullary areas. Interestingly, immunohistochemical experiments performed in adrenal gland sections, using antidopamine-β-hydroxylase and anti-phenylethanolamine-N-methyltransferase antibodies, indicated a higher density of noradrenergic over adrenergic chromaffin cells in the internal medullary region. These results provide direct evidence in favor of a heterogeneous distribution of Ca2+ channel subtypes in the adrenal medulla, in agreement with previous functional data showing that blockade of the high K+-elicited responses by dihydropyridines was greater in noradrenergic than in adrenergic chromaffin cells. These differences may be relevant for the differential release regulation of each catecholamine under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Copyright © 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1159/000054692
issn: 0028-3835
e-issn: 1423-0194
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