The transthyretin gene is expressed in human and rodent dorsal root ganglia

Neuroscience Letters
Tatsufumi MurakamiYoshihide Sunada


The transthyretin (TTR) gene is mainly expressed in the liver and choroid plexus of the brain. Most cases of familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy (FAP) are caused by TTR gene mutations, and characterized by amyloid deposition in the peripheral nervous system. We hypothesized that the TTR gene may be expressed in the peripheral nervous system. We analyzed TTR gene expression in several parts of the human, mouse and rat peripheral nervous systems using RT-PCR. To determine the sites of TTR synthesis in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG), mouse DRG were examined by in situ hybridization, laser capture microdissection and RT-PCR, and immunohistochemistry. TTR mRNA was detected in the DRG and cauda equina of humans and rodents by RT-PCR. TTR mRNA was not detected in the sural nerve, lumbar plexus or sympathetic ganglia in humans, or in the sciatic nerve in rodents. In mouse DRG, TTR mRNA was localized in the peripheral glial cells. No TTR-like immunoreactivity was observed in these tissues except for the perineurium. The TTR gene is probably expressed in the peripheral glial cells of the DRG. TTR synthesis in the DRG may be important for the involvement of the peripheral nervous system in FAP.


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