Differential expression of multiple calmodulin genes in cells of the white matter of the rat spinal cord

Beatrix Kovacs, Karoly Gulya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


Calmodulin (CaM) displays complex cytoplasmic and synaptic functions in the nervous system. However, the very little information that is available on the gene expression of the multiple CaM genes in different glial cell types are from brain tissues of rodents, and no data have been published on their CaM gene expression in the spinal cord. Therefore, we have modified and tested a color in situ hybridization method sensitive enough to detect mRNA populations in cells with low CaM mRNA abundances in the white matter of the rat lumbar spinal cord. Morphologically, two distinct cell types expressing CaM mRNAs were detected. Differential CaM gene expression was demonstrated in medium-sized astrocyte-like cells that reside predominantly in the dorsal column of the spinal cord, where CaM I mRNA was most abundant, followed by the CaM III and CaM II mRNA populations. The oligodendrocytes displayed a less differential CaM gene expression in both the dorsal and the lateral columns, but the CaM I gene had a slightly higher expression level than those of the other CaM genes. The results indicate that the CaM gene expression profile of the spinal cord is richer and more complex than previously thought on the basis of conventional radioactive in situ hybridization techniques. Thus, when a method that is sufficiently sensitive was used, more cell types could be demonstrated to express CaM mRNAs; hence, in spite of their lower CaM expression, glial cells could also be visualized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-34
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Brain Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 2002



  • Astrocyte
  • Calmodulin gene expression
  • Color in situ hybridization
  • Oligodendrocyte
  • Spinal cord
  • White matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this