Localization of mRNAs encoding two forms of glutamic acid decarboxylase in the rat hippocampal formation

Hippocampus. 1994 Oct;4(5):530-45. doi: 10.1002/hipo.450040503.


The mRNAs for two forms of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD65 and GAD67) were localized in the rat hippocampal formation by nonradioactive in situ hybridization methods with digoxigenin-labeled cRNA probes. Some neurons in all layers of the hippocampus and dentate gyrus were readily labeled for each GAD mRNA, and the patterns of labeling for GAD65 and GAD67 mRNAs were very similar. All major groups of previously described GAD- and GABA-containing neurons appeared to be labeled for each GAD mRNA. Such findings suggest that most GABA neurons in the hippocampal formation contain both GAD mRNAs. When the labeling of neurons in the hippocampal formation and cerebral cortex was compared in the same sections, the intensity of neuronal labeling for GAD67 mRNA was generally similar in the two regions. However, the intensity of labeling for GAD65 mRNA was generally stronger for many neurons in the hippocampal formation than for most neurons in the cerebral cortex. Neurons in the hilus of the dentate gyrus were particularly well labeled for GAD65. The nonradioactive labeling for the GAD mRNAs was confined to the cytoplasm of neuronal cell bodies, and this allowed a clear visualization of the relative number and location of labeled neurons. Several distinct patterns of GAD mRNA-containing neurons were observed among different regions of the hippocampal formation. In the hilus of the dentate gyrus, GAD mRNA-containing neurons were numerous in the regions deep to the granule cell layer as well as in more central parts of the hilus. Within CA3, the densities (quantities) of labeled neurons varied among the regions. In the inner or hilar segment of CA3, the density of labeled neurons was often lower than that in the outer part of CA3 where numerous labeled neurons were distributed throughout all layers. In CA1, GAD mRNA-labeled neurons were distributed in a relatively laminar pattern with the highest density in stratum pyramidale and moderate densities in stratum oriens and at the interface between strata radiatum and lacunosum-moleculare. Lower densities were found within the latter two layers. The prominent localization of the two GAD mRNAs in the hippocampal formation suggests that a dual system for GABA synthesis is necessary for normal GABAergic function in this brain region. Most putative GABA neurons contain relatively high levels of GAD67 mRNA as might be expected if this GAD form is responsible for the synthesis of GABA for metabolic and baseline synaptic function.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Enzyme Induction
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / analysis
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / genetics*
  • Hippocampus / enzymology*
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Isoenzymes / analysis
  • Isoenzymes / genetics*
  • Male
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / analysis
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics*
  • Neurons / chemistry
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / biosynthesis


  • Isoenzymes
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase