Diazepam binding inhibitor gene expression: Location in brain and peripheral tissues of rat

H. Alho, R. T. Fremeau, H. Tiedge, J. Wilcox, P. Bovolin, J. Brosius, J. L. Roberts, E. Costa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Diazepam binding inhibitor (DBI), an endogenous 10-kDa polypeptide was isolated from rat and human brain by monitoring displacement of radioactive diazepam bound to specific recognition sites in brain synaptic and mitochondrial membranes. The cellular location of DBI mRNA was studied in rat brain and selected peripheral tissues by in situ hybridization histochemistry with a 35S-labeled single-stranded complementary RNA probe. DBI mRNA was heterogeneously distributed in rat brain, with particularly high levels in the area postrema, the cerebellar cortex, and ependyma of the third ventricle. Intermediate levels were found in the olfactor bulb, pontine nuclei, inferior colliculi, arcuate nucleus, and pineal gland. Relatively low but significant levels of silver grains were observed overlying many mesencephalic and telencephalic areas that have previously been shown to contain numerous DBI-immunoreactive neurons and a high density of central benzodiazepine receptors. In situ hybridizations also revealed high levels of DBI mRNA in the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland, liver, and germinal center of the white pulp of spleen, all tissues that are rich in peripheral benzodiazepine binding sites. The tissue-specific pattern of DBI gene expression described here could be exploited to further understand the physiological function of DBI in the brain and periphery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7018-7022
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number18
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

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