Alternative splicing of the metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 (mGluR1) receptor gene generates two major receptor isoforms, mGluR1a and mGluR1b, differing in intracellular function and distribution. However, little is known on the expression profiles of these variants during development. We examined the mRNA expression profile of mGluR1a/b in microdissected layers and acutely isolated mitral cells in the developing mouse olfactory bulb. This analysis showed that the two mGluR1 variants are differentially regulated within each bulb layer. During the first postnatal week, the mGluR1a isoform replaces GluR1b in the microdissected mitral cell layer (MCL) and in isolated identified mitral cells, coinciding with a developmental epoch of mitral cell dendritic reorganization. Although mGluR1a mRNA is expressed at high levels in both the adult external plexiform layer (EPL) and MCL, Western blotting analysis reveals a marked reduction of the mGluR1a protein in the MCL, where mitral cell bodies are located, and strong labeling in the EPL, which contains mitral cell dendrites. This suggests that there is increased dendritic trafficking efficiency of the receptor in adult. The temporal and spatial shift in mGluR1b/a expression suggests distinct roles of the mGluR1 isoforms, with mGluR1b potentially involved in the early mitral cell maturation and mGluR1a in dendritic and synapse function.
2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.