Immunohistochemical expression and colocalization of somatostatin, carboxypeptidase-E and prohormone convertases 1 and 2 in rat brain

Neuroscience. 2007 Jun 29;147(2):403-18. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2007.04.039. Epub 2007 Jun 1.


The processing of many peptides for their maturation in target tissue depends upon the presence of sorting receptor. Several previous studies have predicted that carboxypeptidase-E (CPE), prohormone convertase 1 (PC1) and prohormone convertase 2 (PC2) may function as sorting elements for somatostatin (SST) for its maturation and processing to appropriate targets. However, nothing is currently known about whether brain, neuronal culture or even endocrine cells express SST, CPE, PC1 and PC2 and exhibit colocalization. Accordingly, in the present study using peroxidase immunohistochemistry, double-labeled indirect immunofluorescence immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis, we mapped the distributional pattern of SST, CPE, PC1 and PC2 in different rat brain regions. Additionally, we also determined the colocalization of SST with CPE, PC1 and PC2 as well as colocalization of CPE with PC1 and PC2. The localization of SST, CPE, PC1 and PC2 reveals a distinct and region specific distribution pattern in the rat brain. Using an indirect double-label immunofluorescence method we observed selective neuron specific colocalization in a region specific manner in cortex, striatum and hippocampus. These studies provide the first evidence for colocalization between SST, CPE, PC1 and PC2 as well as CPE with PC1 and PC2. SST in cerebral cortex colocalized in pyramidal and non-pyramidal neurons with CPE, PC1 and PC2. Most importantly, in striatum and hippocampus colocalization was mostly observed selectively and preferentially in interneurons. CPE is also colocalized with PC1 and PC2 in a region specific manner. The data presented here provide a new insight into the distribution and colocalization of SST, CPE, PC1 and PC2 in rat brain. Taken together, our data anticipate the possibility that CPE, PC1 and PC2 might be potential target for the maturation of SST.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain Chemistry / physiology*
  • Carboxypeptidase H / metabolism*
  • Cerebral Cortex / enzymology
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • Hippocampus / enzymology
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Neostriatum / enzymology
  • Neostriatum / metabolism
  • Proprotein Convertase 1 / metabolism*
  • Proprotein Convertase 2 / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Somatostatin / metabolism*


  • Actins
  • Somatostatin
  • Carboxypeptidase H
  • Proprotein Convertase 1
  • Proprotein Convertase 2