Specific regulation of immediate early genes by patterned neuronal activity.


Electrical activity shapes development of the nervous system, presumably in part by regulating gene expression. A set of regulatory genes, immediate early genes (IEGs), which are responsive to a number of extrinsic cellular stimuli have been proposed to play a role in coupling such activity to gene expression. Using a semiquantitative polymerase chain reaction assay, we show that in dissociated mouse dorsal root ganglion neurons the expression of two IEGs, c-fos and nur/77, is differentially sensitive to patterns of electrical stimulation. Differences in c-fos activation did not correlate with the peak intracellular calcium [Ca++]i produced by the different stimulation patterns or with residual [Ca++]i following stimulation. However, the net increase in [Ca++]i (calcium time integral) was greater for the pulsed stimulus that activated c-fos (6 impulses/min), compared to the ineffective stimulus (12 impulses/2 min). This system of genes seems suited to mediating the coupling between electrical activity and other functional genes.


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@article{Sheng1993SpecificRO, title={Specific regulation of immediate early genes by patterned neuronal activity.}, author={Hui Zhen Sheng and R. Douglas Fields and Phillip G. Nelson}, journal={Journal of neuroscience research}, year={1993}, volume={35 5}, pages={459-67} }