Multiple calmodulin mRNAs are selectively transported to functionally different neuronal and glial compartments in the rat hippocampus: An electron microscopic in situ hybridization study

Arpad Palfi, Elod Kortvely, Eva Fekete, Karoly Gulya

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The ultrastructural distribution of the calmodulin (CaM) mRNAs transcribed from the three CaM genes was studied in the CA1 region of the adult rat hippocampus by means of electron microscopic in situ hybridization. Digoxigenin-labeled CaM gene-specific riboprobes were detected with nanogold-anti-digoxigenin antibody conjugate. The CaM mRNAs were differentially distributed in both the neuronal and glial cell compartments. The greatest difference in neuronal distribution of the CaM mRNAs was found in the dendrites, where the mRNAs transcribed from the CaM I and III genes were much more abundant than the CaM II mRNA. The neuronal perikarya were heavy labeled for all the CaM mRNAs. Interestingly, the myelinated axons and axon terminals also contained small amounts of nanogold particles for all the CaM mRNAs, which diminished with increasing distance from the soma. Most of the synaptic profiles, however, contained labeling only in the postsynaptic region. The CaM mRNAs were differentially distributed in the glial cells. While the glial cell somata were only lightly labeled, surprisingly concentrated labeling was present in the perisynaptic and perivascular astrocytic processes. In general, the CaM II mRNA was the least represented in the glial processes. Only a very low CaM gene expression was observed in the endothelial and resting microglial cells. These results provide ultrastructural evidence for differential targeting of the multiple CaM mRNA transcripts to the intracellular compartments and suggest their microdomain-specific regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1405-1415
Number of pages11
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Aug 12 2005



  • Astrocyte
  • Axon
  • Calmodulin
  • Dendrite
  • Electron microscopy
  • In situ hybridization
  • Intracellular
  • Transport
  • mRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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