Localization and semi-quantitation of NMDA2A and NMDA2B receptor mRNAs in auditory cortex
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NMDA (N-methyl-d-aspartate) receptors are essential for learning and formation of memory. Recent research reported that expression of NMDA2A and NMDA2B receptor mRNAs in the cortices of adult rats decreased after intensive auditory learning. To confirm and better understand the phenomenon, radioactive in situ hybridization (ISH) was applied to locate and quantitate the expressed NMDA2A and NMDA2B receptor mRNAs in sections of auditory cortices prepared from one control and one auditory trained rat. Cells expressing both NMDA2A and NMDA2B receptor subunit mRNAs were found in the pyramidal layer of auditory cortices, while expression level differences of NMDA2A and NMDA2B receptor subunit mRNAs in auditory cortices between control and trained rats were not detected. This pilot study has confirmed the feasibility of the ISH protocol we developed, though some further refinement will need to be done to distinguish subtle expression pattern of the NMDA receptor mRNAs that are associated with learning in the auditory cortex.