INTRANEURONAL MECHANISMS FOR INFORMATION STORAGE.
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GOTEBORG UNIV (SWEDEN) INST OF NEUROBIOLOGY
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In neurochemistry and neuroendocrinology, microchemical technique is a prerequisite for quantitative and qualitative analyses of macro-molecules such as RNA and proteins. During the last year two such methods were developed and applied to behavioral problems in rats. The previous method for RNA base composition analysis after acid hydrolysis only gave information for total RNA even if the amount was 10 - 0.1 nanograms from single cells. The new method consists of separation of this amount of phenol-extracted RNA, separated on polyacrylamide gel in glass capillaries. The separated 4 S, 18 S, 28 S and higher species of RNA is extracted from the gel and subjected to base composition analysis and determination of specific activity. Brain cell protein in the amount of 100 to 1 nanograms is separated by a similar technique. This technique also allows a correction of the specific activities of tritium labeled protein fractions for variation in amount of free amino acids. This is necessary to know when identical cell structures from the two hemispheres or from different brains are analyzed. These methods were applied in a behavioral test in rats involving transfer of handedness. Analyzed were proteins of pyramidal nerve cells in CA3 of the hippocampus. During the establishment of the new behavior, the synthesis of three acidic protein fractions increased significantly. Some of the acidic proteins are brain specific and they may participate in the regulation of gene activities in neuron. Author
- Anatomy and Physiology