Comprehensive analysis of the expression patterns of the adenylate cyclase gene family in the developing and adult mouse brain



Adenylate cyclases (Adcys) are components of several developmentally, neurophysiologically, and pharmacologically relevant signaling pathways. A prominent feature of Adcys is their ability to integrate multiple signaling pathways into a single second messenger pathway, the production of cAMP. Nine isoforms of membrane-bound Adcys are known, each encoded by a distinct gene. These isoforms differ in their response to regulatory upstream pathways as well as in their distribution in the brain and elsewhere. Use of various detection methods and animal species has, however, hampered a direct comparison of expression patterns, so the potential contribution of single isoforms to Adcy activity in different brain regions remains unclear. We have determined the expression patterns of all nine Adcy genes in the embryonic, postnatal day 7, and adult mouse brain by nonradioactive robotic in situ hybridization (ISH). Here we describe the salient features of these patterns. Regional colocalization of Adcy transcripts encoding isoforms with different regulatory properties was detected in the cortex, subregions of the hippocampus, olfactory bulb, thalamus, and striatum. Hence, our expression data support models for modulation of cAMP signaling by combinatorial action of multiple Adcy isoforms. However, in several instances, the expression domains of genes encoding isoforms with similar regulatory properties spatially exclude each other, which is most evident in not previously described expression domains of the embryonic midbrain roof. This is suggestive of functional specialization. J. Comp. Neurol. 496:684–697, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.