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Pubmed ID :9385081
Publication Date : //

Histochemical localization of heme oxygenase-2 protein and mRNA expression in rat brain.

Heme oxygenase (HO) proteins are members of the HSP30 family and consist of 2 isozymes identified to date, termed HO-1 and HO-2. Separate genes encode the isozymes and protein products which are immunochemically distinct, share less than 50% similarity at the amino acid sequence level. Each form, however, shows greater than 90% similarity among species, including human and the rat (reviewed in ref.). Furthermore, these isozymes function in a well-defined role to carry out oxidation of the heme molecule (Fe-protoporphyrin IX) in concert with NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase. The oxidation of heme is isomer specific and results in the formation of bile pigments, carbon monoxide, and iron. The heme molecule constitutes the prosthetic moiety of hemoproteins, such as hemoglobin, myoglobin, catalase, soluble guanylate cyclase, cytochrome b5, cytochromes P450 and NO synthase. HO-1 also known as heat shock protein (HSP) 32 is encoded by a gene which is exquisitely stress-responsive and a host of stimuli that mediate oxidative stress cause induction of the protein both in vivo and in vitro. The HO-2 form shows a unique pattern of regulation from that of HO-1. HO-2 is a constitutive protein and its expression is not affected by the inducers of HO-1 tested to date; rather, the only known regulator of HO-2 yet identified is adrenal glucocorticoids. The two isozymes display vast differences in tissue distribution and under normal conditions HO-1 is present in the whole brain at the limit of immunodetection and is discreetly localized in select neuronal populations. HO-1 protein (approximately 32 kDa) and its approximately 1.8 kb transcript are increased, however, in response to stressful stimuli primarily in non-neuronal cell populations. The heme oxygenase system serves in both a catabolic and anabolic capacity in the cell. In the former capacity, it down-regulates cellular heme and hemoprotein levels. And, as such it inactivates the most effective catalyst for formation of free radicals, the heme molecule. In its anabolic role, as noted above, heme oxygenase produces bile pigments, carbon monoxide, and iron, all of which are biologically active: bile pigments function as antioxidants; the carbon monoxide generated by HO activity has been correlated with the generation of cGMP; and iron regulates expression of various genes, including that of HO-1 itself, as well as transferrin receptors, ferritin, and NO synthase. We used rabbit anti-rat HO-2 polyclonal antibody and HO-2 cDNA to localize HO-2 immunoreactive protein and the 1.3- and 1.9 kb homologous transcripts, respectively, in rodent brain as visualized by histochemical staining procedures. These protocols provide the first detailed description of methodologies successfully used to define the pattern of HO-2 expression at the transcriptional and translational levels in the adult rat brain and glucocorticoid-treated newborn rats. The procedures described herein have the virtue of being non-radioactive, as well as applicability to the systemic organs, such as the cardiovascular system and the male reproductive organs. Visualization of cellular HO-2 expression aids in assessment of potential sites of carbon monoxide, iron, and bilirubin production within the nervous system.

Authors : Ewing J F , Maines M D ,

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