Postnatal development of brain alpha 1-adrenergic receptors: in vitro autoradiography with [125I]HEAT in normal rats and rats treated with alpha-difluoromethylornithine, a specific, irreversible inhibitor of ornithine decarboxylase.
The postnatal development of brain alpha 1-adrenergic receptors was studied in the rat brain using in vitro autoradiography. In some regions, such as the globus pallidus, receptor-binding sites were present at birth and increased during the first week but then decreased to very low levels by adulthood. In contrast, other regions such as the olfactory bulb and cerebral cortex exhibited little binding at birth, with a subsequent increase in receptors during the second week of life that persisted into the mature stage. Several regions had an intermediate pattern with significant labelling at birth, an increase in the first few weeks and a smaller decrement in binding sites as adulthood was approached. The data suggested that there were two archetypal development patterns, one of which was potentially related to the arrival of noradrenergic nerve projections (olfactory bulb) and the other of which was determined intrinsically by differentiation (globus pallidus). The two patterns could be distinguished by their sensitivity to alpha-difluoromethylornithine, a drug that inhibits ornithine decarboxylase, leading to a slowing of cellular replication, differentiation and migration. Drug treatment dramatically delayed the developmental fall-off of binding in the globus pallidus such that receptor sites remained in high concentration well past the point at which they disappeared in control animals. In the olfactory bulb, however, alpha-difluoromethylornithine had little or no effect on the ontogeny of receptor binding. These studies provide evidence that alpha 1-adrenergic receptors in various brain regions develop at different rates and with at least two characteristic patterns. Autoradiographic techniques provide important insights into receptor development that cannot be garnered from biochemical methods using isolated membrane preparations.
Jones, LS; Gauger, LL; Davis, JN; Slotkin, TA; Bartolome, JV
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