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Developmental changes in the expression of somatostatin receptors (1-5) in the brain, hypothalamus, pituitary and spinal cord of the human fetus

, : Developmental changes in the expression of somatostatin receptors (1-5) in the brain, hypothalamus, pituitary and spinal cord of the human fetus. Neuroscience 125(2): 441-448

The actions of somatostatin (SST) in the nervous system are mediated by specific high affinity SST receptors (SSTR1-5). However, the role of this hormone and the distribution of its receptor subtypes have not yet been defined in neural structures of the human fetus. We have analyzed four neural tissues (CNS, hypothalamus, pituitary and spinal cord) from early to midgestation for the expression of five human SSTR mRNAs, using a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Southern blot approach. These fetal neural tissues all express mRNA for multiple SSTR subtypes from as early as 16 weeks of fetal life but the developmental patterns of expression vary considerably. Transcripts for SSTR1 and SSTR2A are the most widely distributed, being expressed in all four neural tissues. SSTR2A is often the earliest transcript to be detected (7.5 weeks in CNS). SSTR3 mRNA is confined to the pituitary, hypothalamus, and spinal cord. SSTR4 is expressed in fetal brain, hypothalamus and spinal cord but not pituitary. SSTR5 mRNA is detectable in the pituitary and spinal cord by 14-16 weeks of fetal life. This mapping of SSTR mRNA expression patterns in human fetal neural tissues is an important first step toward our goal of determining the role of SST in the nervous system during early stages in human development. Copyright 2004 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


PMID: 15062986

DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2004.02.001

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