Type 1 and type 8 adenylate cyclases, AC1 and AC8, are membrane bound enzymes that produce cAMP in response to calcium entry and could thus control a large number of developmental processes. We provide a detailed spatiotemporal localization of these genes in the mouse brain during embryonic and postnatal life using in situ hybridization. AC1 gene expression begins early in embryonic life (before E13), and its expression is much more widespread than in adults. Transient expression of AC1 is found in the striatum, the dorsal thalamus, the trigeminal nerve nuclei, the Purkinje cells of the cerebellum, the interneurons of the hippocampus, and the retinal ganglion cells. In all these structures, the peak of AC1 gene expression occurs during early postnatal life, decreasing by P10. After P15, AC1 expression is confined to the hippocampus, the cerebral cortex, and to the granule cells of the cerebellum. AC8 gene expression also begins early in embryonic life (E12)--but in a more limited number of regions than in adults. AC8 expression is initially restricted to the epithalamus, the hypothalamus, the superior colliculus, the cerebellar anlage the proliferative zone of the rhombic lip, and the spinal cord. The expression increases and broadens during postnatal life, particularly in the thalamus and the cerebral cortex. A transient peak of AC8 expression is found in layer IV of the somatosensory cortex. Thus, AC1 and AC8 have an early developmental onset with complementary spatiotemporal distribution patterns: AC1 is most broadly distributed in embryonic life, whereas AC8 is most broadly expressed in adulthood. Transient expression of these genes designate areas that may be particularly sensitive to neural activity/calcium-modulated cAMP responses during development.
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