Expression and immunolocalization of the plasma membrane monoamine transporter in the brain

Neuroscience. 2007 May 25;146(3):1193-211. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2007.01.072. Epub 2007 Apr 3.


High affinity monoamine transporters efficiently terminate neurotransmission through synaptic reuptake of released neurotransmitter. We recently cloned and characterized a novel low-affinity, high capacity plasma membrane monoamine transporter (PMAT) that is strongly expressed in the human brain and efficiently transports 5-HT and dopamine (DA). In efforts to understand the physiological function of PMAT and its relevance in monoaminergic pathways, we cloned the PMAT homolog from the mouse brain, demonstrated its capability for transporting 5-HT and DA, and determined the regional and cellular localization of mouse plasma membrane monoamine transporter (mPMAT) in adult mouse brain by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction, non-radioactive in situ hybridization, and immunohistochemical methods. Our results showed that mPMAT mRNA and protein are broadly expressed in the mouse brain and are particularly abundant in forebrain cortex, olfactory tubercle, hippocampus, cerebellum and epithelial cells of the choroid plexus. Dual-immunofluorescence histochemistry with established phenotypic markers microtubule-associated protein (MAP2) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) revealed that mPMAT is expressed in neuronal cells but not in astrocytes. mPMAT is co-expressed in many brain regions with the high affinity 5-HT transporter (SERT) and the dopamine transporter (DAT), but is also found in certain sites that receive monoamine innervation but lack significant expression of SERT or DAT. These findings suggest that mPMAT is a widely distributed, neuronally-expressed transporter, which may support the role of 5-HT and DA uptake under certain conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / metabolism
  • Biological Transport, Active
  • Blotting, Western
  • Brain Chemistry / genetics*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Complementary / biosynthesis
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Dogs
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Isomerism
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Serotonin / metabolism
  • Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism
  • Tissue Distribution


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Serotonin
  • Dopamine