Specific expression of an oxytocin-enhanced cyan fluorescent protein fusion transgene in the rat hypothalamus and posterior pituitary

A Katoh, H Fujihara, T Ohbuchi, T Onaka, 3rd Young WS, G Dayanithi, Y Yamasaki, M Kawata, H Suzuki, H Otsubo, H Suzuki, D Murphy, Y Ueta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We have generated rats bearing an oxytocin (OXT)-enhanced cyan fluorescent protein (eCFP) fusion transgene designed from a murine construct previously shown to be faithfully expressed in transgenic mice. In situ hybridisation histochemistry revealed that the Oxt-eCfp fusion gene was expressed in the supraoptic nucleus (SON) and the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) in these rats. The fluorescence emanating from eCFP was observed only in the SON, the PVN, the internal layer of the median eminence and the posterior pituitary (PP). In in vitro preparations, freshly dissociated cells from the SON and axon terminals showed clear eCFP fluorescence. Immunohistochemistry for OXT and arginine vasopressin (AVP) revealed that the eCFP fluorescence co-localises with OXT immunofluorescence, but not with AVP immunofluorescence in the SON and the PVN. Although the expression levels of the Oxt-eCfp fusion gene in the SON and the PVN showed a wide range of variations in transgenic rats, eCFP fluorescence was markedly increased in the SON and the PVN, but decreased in the PP after chronic salt loading. The expression of the Oxt gene was significantly increased in the SON and the PVN after chronic salt loading in both non-transgenic and transgenic rats. Compared with wild-type animals, euhydrated and salt-loaded male and female transgenic rats showed no significant differences in plasma osmolality, sodium concentration and OXT and AVP levels, suggesting that the fusion gene expression did not disturb any physiological processes. These results suggest that our new transgenic rats are a valuable new tool to identify OXT-producing neurones and their terminals.
Translated title of the contributionSpecific expression of an oxytocin-enhanced cyan fluorescent protein fusion transgene in the rat hypothalamus and posterior pituitary
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275 - 285
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Endocrinology
Volume204(3)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

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