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Immunohistochemical localization of ionotropic glutamate receptors in the rat red nucleus

Zehra Minbay, Sema Serter Kocoglu, Duygu Gok Yurtseven, Ozhan Eyigor


In this study, we aimed to determine the presence as well as the diverse distribution of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and non-NMDA glutamate receptor subunits in the rat red nucleus. Using adult Sprague-Dawley rats as the experimental animals, immunohistochemistry was performed on 30 µm thick coronal brain sections with antibodies against α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (GluA1-4), kainate (GluK1, GluK2/3, and GluK5), and NMDA (GluN1 and GluN2A) receptor subunits. The results showed that all ionotropic glutamate receptor subunits are expressed in the red nucleus. Specific staining was localized in the neuron bodies and processes. However, the pattern of immunoreactivity and the number of labeled neurons changed depending on the type of ionotropic glutamate receptor subunits and the localization of neurons in the red nucleus. The neurons localized in the magnocellular part of the red nucleus were particularly immunopositive for GluA2, GluA4, GluK2/3, GluK5, GluN1, and GluN2A receptor proteins. In the parvocellular part of the red nucleus, ionotropic glutamate receptor subunit immunoreactivity of variable intensity (lightly to moderately stained) was detected in the neurons. These results suggest that red nucleus neurons in rat heterogeneously express ionotropic glutamate receptor subunits to form functional receptor channels. In addition, the likelihood of the coexpression of different subunits in the same subgroup of neurons suggests the formation of receptor channels with diverse structure by way of different subunit combination, and the possibility of various neuronal functions through these channels in the red nucleus.


Red nucleus; parvocellular; magnocellular; rat; glutamate; neuronal function; GluA2; GluA4; GluK2/3; GluK5; GluN1; GluN2A; α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid; kainate; N-methyl-D-aspartate; immunohistochemistry

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