An exercise in brain genoarchitectonics: Analysis of AZIN2-Lacz expressing neuronal populations in the mouse hindbrain

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We examined in detail the distribution of AZIN2 (antizyme inhibitor 2) expression in the adult mouse hindbrain and neighboring spinal cord. AZIN2, similar to previously known AZIN1, is a recently-discovered, a functional paralog of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC). Due to their structural similarity to ODC, both AZIN1 and AZIN2 counteract the inhibitory action of 3 known antizymes (AZ1-3) on the ODC synthesis of polyamines, thus increasing intracytoplasmic levels of polyamines. AZIN2 is strongly, but heterogeneously, expressed in the brain. Our study uses a mouse line carrying an AZIN2-LacZ construct, and, in our topographic analysis of AZIN2-positive structures, we intend to share new knowledge about the rhombomeric segmentation of the hindbrain (a function of Hox paralogs and other genes). The observed labeled cell populations predominantly coincide with known cholinergic and glutamatergic cells, but occasionally also correspond to GABAergic, and possibly glycinergic cells. Some imperfectly known hindbrain populations stood out in unprecedented detail, and some axonal tracts were also differentially stained. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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