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Keywords:

  • ATP-binding casette transporters;
  • brain development;
  • immunohistochemistry;
  • in situ hybridization

Abstract

Using in situ hybridization for the mouse brain, we analyzed developmental changes in gene expression for the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter subfamilies ABCA1–4 and 7, and ABCG1, 2, 4, 5 and 8. In the embryonic brains, ABCA1 and A7 were highly expressed in the ventricular (or germinal) zone, whereas ABCA2, A3 and G4 were enriched in the mantle (or differentiating) zone. At the postnatal stages, ABCA1 was detected in both the gray and white matter and in the choroid plexus. On the other hand, ABCA2, A3 and A7 were distributed in the gray matter. In addition, marked up-regulation of ABCA2 occurred in the white matter at 14 days-of-age when various myelin protein genes are known to be up-regulated. In marked contrast, ABCA4 was selective to the choroid plexus throughout development. ABCG1 was expressed in both the gray and white matters, whereas ABCG4 was confined to the gray matter. ABCG2 was diffusely and weakly detected throughout the brain at all stages examined. Immunohistochemistry of ABCG2 showed its preferential expression on the luminal membrane of brain capillaries. Expression signals for ABCG5 and G8 were barely detected at any stages. The distinct spatio-temporal expressions of individual ABCA and G transporters may reflect their distinct cellular expressions in the developing and adult brains, presumably, to regulate and maintain lipid homeostasis in the brain.