There is growing evidence of local protein synthesis in neuronal dendrites, especially in relation to synaptic activity. The hypothalamic magnocellular system is a robust model for peptidergic neurons, especially for the study of dendrites. Quantitative electron microscopy, immunocytochemistry and non-radioactive in situ hybridization (with tyramide signal amplification) were used to compare dendrites of magnocellular neurons in the supraoptic nucleus of wild-type rats and of homozygous Brattleboro (BB) rats which are subject to long-term hyper-osmotic stimulation because they cannot secrete vasopressin. The dendrites contained free polyribosomes, cisterns of rough endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and small Golgi-like elements. These were clustered in the dendrites, mostly near the plasma membrane. All were increased in amount in the enlarged dendrites of the BB rats. The presence of polyribosomes and cisterns of rER implies that both cytosolic and membrane-inserting proteins are synthesized in the dendrites. The ER marker protein disulfide isomerase extended far into dendrites, but Golgi element markers (mid-Golgi and trans-Golgi network) were distributed mainly in their proximal parts. In BB rats, all the labeling was stronger. 28S rRNA, initiator tRNA(Met), and poly(A) mRNA were revealed extending into proximal and middle parts of dendrites where intensely reactive punctate structures were common. 28S rRNA could be detected in the distal parts of the dendrites. The length of positively stained dendrites was increased significantly for all these RNAs in BB rats. The results provide morphological evidence that magnocellular dendrites have the capacity for local protein syntheses and that this is increased in chronic hyperosmotic stress.
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||Journal of chemical neuroanatomy|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Mar 2002|
Bibliographical noteFunding: This work was supported by a grant from Human Frontiers Scientific Program.
- Rough endoplasmic reticulum
- Golgi membranes
- Poly(A) mRNA
- 28S rRNA
- Initiator tRNA
- In situ hybridization