Cyclic nucleotide-specific phosphodiesterases (PDEs) play a critical role in signal transduction by regulating the level of adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) and guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP) in cells. The gene expression pattern of a PDE provides important information regarding its role in physiological and pathological processes. In this study, we have established the mRNA expression profile all PDE isoenzymes (PDE1A/B/C, 2A, 3A/B, 4A/B/C/D, 5A, 6A/B/C, 7A/B, 8A/B, 9A, 10A, 11A) in a human cDNA collection consisting of 10 brain regions (parietal, frontal, temporal cortex, hippocampus, striatum, thalamus, hypothalamus, substantia nigra, nucleus accumbens, cerebellum), spinal cord, dorsal root ganglia and 12 peripheral tissues (skeletal muscle, heart, thyroid, adrenal gland, pancreas, bladder, kidney, liver, lung, small intestine, spleen, and stomach). Using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and parallel analysis of a carefully selected group of reference genes, we have determined the relative expression of each PDE isoenzyme across the 24 selected tissues, and also compared the expression of selected PDEs to each other within a given tissue type. Several PDEs show strikingly selective expression (e.g. PDE10A and PDE1B mRNA levels in the caudate nucleus are 20-fold higher than in most other tissues; PDE1C and PDE3A are highly expressed in the heart and PDE8B is expressed very strongly in the thyroid gland). This comprehensive approach provides a coherent and quantitative view of the mRNA expression of the PDE gene family and enables an integration of data obtained with other non-quantitative methods.
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