Differential expression of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionate glutamate receptors in the rat striatum during postnatal development

Neurosignals. Nov-Dec 2003;12(6):302-9. doi: 10.1159/000075312.


Alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionate (AMPA)-type glutamate receptors (GluR1-4) are one of the most important ionotropic glutamate receptors in the striatum, a key region of the basal ganglia. The present study investigated the trend of developmental expression of AMPA receptor subunits in the striatum of rats in different developmental stages, i.e., at postnatal day 7 (PND7), PND21 and adult. Perfuse-fixed striatal sections were used. The expression of AMPA subunits was studied by immunofluorescence and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). RT-PCR revealed that the levels of expression of the GluR1 and GluR3 mRNAs were the same among the age groups. The level of GluR2 mRNA was highest in PND21 rats and lowest in adult. The highest level of GluR4 mRNA was detected in rats at PND7. Similar trends of GluR1, GluR2 and GluR2/3 immunoreactivity expression were observed using commercially available specific antibodies. In addition, a large proportion of parvalbumin-immunoreactive GABAergic interneurons in the striatum were found to display GluR1 immunoreactivity in PND21 and adult rats. In contrast, most of the choline acetyltransferase-immunoreactive cholinergic interneurons were found to display GluR2 immunoreactivity but less GluR1 and no GluR2/3 immunoreactivity in PND21 and adult rats. The present study suggests that there is a distinct pattern of expression of AMPA-type receptor mRNAs and proteins in the rat striatum at different stages of development.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase / metabolism
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique / methods
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology*
  • Neostriatum / growth & development
  • Neostriatum / metabolism*
  • Parvalbumins / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, AMPA / genetics
  • Receptors, AMPA / metabolism*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods


  • Parvalbumins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, AMPA
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase