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Immunohistochemical distribution of the two isoforms of synaphin/complexin involved in neurotransmitter release: localization at the distinct central nervous system regions and synaptic types.

Yamada M., Saisu H., Ishizuka T., Takahashi H., Abe T.

The cellular and subcellular localization of the two synaphin isoforms, proteins associated with the docking/fusion complex crucial to neurotransmitter release, was studied in the rat central nervous system by using light microscopic and electron microscopic immunohistochemistry with monoclonal antibodies specific to each isoform. Synaphin 1 (complexin II) was predominantly expressed in neurons of the central nervous system regions such as cerebral cortex (the II, III and VI cortical layers), claustrum, hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, amygdaloid nuclei, substantia nigra pars compacta, superior colliculus, pontine reticulotegmental nucleus and inferior olive, whereas synaphin 2 (complexin I) was in the cerebral cortex (the IV cortical layer), thalamus, locus coeruleus, gigantocellular reticular field, cuneate nucleus and cerebellar basket and stellate cells. In some regions, including the caudate-putamen, globus pallidus, pontine reticular nucleus, cerebellar nuclei and spinal gray matter, synaphin 1 was mainly present in small or medium-sized neurons, while synaphin 2 was in large cells. Medial habenular nucleus and cerebellar granule cells showed both immunoreactivities. In the neuropil of the cerebral cortex and hippocampus, synaphin 1 expression was accentuated in the axon terminals of axospinal and axodendritic synapses, while synaphin 2 was predominant in the axon terminals of axosomatic synapses. In the axon terminals, both immunolabelings were associated with synaptic vesicles and the plasma membrane, being accentuated in the vicinity of synaptic contacts. In the cerebral cortex, both immunoreactivities were also present occasionally in dendrites and dendritic spines, associated with microtubules and the plasma membrane including the postsynaptic densities. These results suggest that the two isoforms of synaphin are involved in synaptic function at the distinct presynaptic regions in the central nervous system, and that some dendrites are another functional site for the proteins.

Neuroscience 93:7-18(1999) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]