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Somatostatin expression in TS16 mouse brain cultures.

Somatostatin expression in trisomy 16 mouse neuronal cultures has been studied to investigate the effects of the presence of an extra copy of the pre-pro-somatostatin (ppSS) gene on mouse chromosome 16. The immunoreactivity for somatostatin (SS) was considered in mixed cultures of neurons and glia cells and in neuron-enriched cultures as well as that for neuropeptide Y, glutamic acid decarboxylase, and gamma-enolase immunoreactivity the genes of which are not present on mouse chromosome 16. ppSS and pre-pro-neuropeptide Y (ppNPY) mRNA expression was evaluated and SS immunoreactivity in neurons analyzed by a morphometrical study. The extra copy of the ppSS gene resulted in a significantly increased level of the transcript in trisomic cultures, whereas the expression of the other neuropeptides did not differ. The absence of glial cells in these cultures reduced the number of SS-positive neurons making their number comparable in the trisomic and control cultures. Thus, in spite of higher expression of the ppSS mRNA in trisomic cultures, the determination of this peptidergic phenotype was influenced by the presence of neuroglial cells.

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Streptozotocin-induced diabetes is associated with altered expression of peptide-encoding mRNAs in rat sensory neurons.

Major complications arising from diabetes mellitus include neuropathic pain and altered peripheral inflammatory responses. Somatostatin (SOM), calcitenin gene-related peptide (CGRP), and substance P (SP) are neuropeptides that modulate pain responses transmitted by primary sensory afferents, the cell bodies of which are located in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG). Thus, the goal of the present study was to determine whether the diabetic condition is associated with altered neuropeptide gene expression in lumbar DRG of the rat. We employed an established animal model in which streptozotocin (STZ, 55 mg/kg) is administered to 6 week-old rats. The hallmark symptoms of hyperglycemia (blood glucose > 400 mg/dl), polydipsia, polyuria, and severe weight loss were maximal at 6 weeks postadministration, at which time animals were sacrificed. For determination of peptide encoding mRNAs distributed in DRG neurons, in situ hybridization histochemistry utilizing S-end-labeled oligonucleotides complimentary to sequences of preprosomatostatin (PPSOM), preprocalcitonin gene related peptide (PPCGRP), preprotachykinin (PPT), or preproneuropeptide Y (PPNPY) mRNA was performed. Silver grains were detected overlying DRG cells by autoradiography on sections of tissue counterstained with thionin. Semiquantitative analysis of differences in silver grain signal were made using an image analysis system, which expressed signals as fCi/microns2. In diabetic rats there was a significant decrease in DRG PPSOM (54%, p < 0.01), and PPCGRP (33%. p < 0.05) mRNA hybridization from the normal values PPT mRNA hybridization signal and SP-like immunoreactivity were not significantly changed in diabetic rat DRGs compared to control. In contrast, there was an increase in the number of cells labeled with PPNPY hybridization in DRG from diabetic rats. These data suggest that CGRP and SOM synthesis in primary sensory neurons is reduced in STZ-induced diabetic rats. These changes could contribute to the painful neuropathies and altered inflammatory responses seen in diabetes mellitus.

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