Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaMK)II is highly expressed in the CNS and mediates activity-dependent neuronal plasticity. Four CaMKII isoforms, α, β, γ and δ, have a large number of splicing variants. Here we identified isoforms of CaMKII in the rat substantia nigra (SN). Northern blot and RT-PCR analyses revealed that the γ and δ isoform mRNAs with several splicing variants were predominantly expressed in SN. Immunoblot analysis indicated that the major isoforms were γA, γC, δ1 and δ3. An immunohistochemical study also confirmed the preferential localization of γ and δ isoforms in SN dopaminergic neurons. In dopaminergic neurons, immunoreactivity against anti-CaMKIIδ1-4 antibody was detected in both nucleus and cytoplasm, in contrast to the predominant expression of γ isoforms in the cytoplasm. Furthermore, we showed expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNAs with exons II and IV in SN. Taken together with our previous observations, the results suggest that the CaMKIIδ3 isoform is involved in the expression of BDNF in the SN.
- Ca/Calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II
- Substantia nigra
- Tyrosine hydroxylase
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience