Age-related changes in the relative abundance of NMDAR1 mRNA spliced variants in the rat brain

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WE have investigated the age-dependent profile of two groups of NMDAR1 mRNA isoforms, the NR10XX and the NR11XX, which are characterized by the absence and the presence, respectively, of an N-terminal positioned 21 amino acid insert. mRNAs of the two spliced variants were investigated at different ages in discrete rat brain areas by means of the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. The existence of regional variations was confirmed as well as a region-specific pattern of NR10XX/1XX ratio and its age-dependent changes. At 6 months, the ratio was > 3 in prosencephalic structures and < 1 in metencephalic regions. The greatest age-related changes were found in the cerebellum that switched from a maximal ratio of 5.1 ± 0.4 at day 6 through a progressive decay down to the value of 0.3 ± 0.04 at 24 months. Age-dependent changes of the different NR1 spliced variant mRNAs are relevant to understand possible regulatory mechanisms of the pharmacological properties and functions of different NMDAR subtypes.

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