Distribution of alpha2-adrenoceptor mRNAs in the rat lumbar spinal cord in normal and axotomized rats

Neuroreport. 1999 Sep 9;10(13):2835-9. doi: 10.1097/00001756-199909090-00025.


Using riboprobe in situ hybridization we have studied the distribution of alpha2A-, alpha2B- and alpha2c-adrenoceptor (AR) mRNAs in the lumbar spinal cord in normal rats and after peripheral axotomy. A strong alpha2A- and alpha2C AR mRNA labelling was found in motoneurons and other cells in the ventral horns. In the dorsal horns strong alpha2A-AR mRNA labelling was found in all layers and in the lateral spinal nucleus, whereas alpha2C-AR mRNA was found in lower numbers of cells in various layers. The alpha2B-AR mRNA signal was only detected in some small cells superficially in the dorsal horn. With regard to axotomy only a marginal effect was observed for alpha2C-AR mRNA in the ventral horn. The results suggest that alpha2-ARs are involved both in sensory and motor processing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axotomy*
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Lumbosacral Region
  • Male
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha / genetics*
  • Reference Values
  • Spinal Cord / cytology
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Protein Isoforms
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha