Hemoproteins are widely distributed among unicellular eukaryotes, plants, and animals. In addition to myoglobin and hemoglobin, a third hemoprotein, neuroglobin, has recently been isolated from vertebrate brain. Although the functional role of this novel member of the globin family remains unclear, neuroglobin contains a heme-binding domain and may participate in diverse processes such as oxygen transport, oxygen storage, nitric oxide detoxification, or modulation of terminal oxidase activity. In this study we utilized in situ hybridization (ISH) and RT-PCR analyses to examine the expression of neuroglobin in the normoxic and hypoxic murine brain. In the normoxic adult mouse, neuroglobin expression was observed in focal regions of the brain, including the lateral tegmental nuclei, the preoptic nucleus, amygdala, locus coeruleus, and nucleus of the solitary tract. Using ISH and RT-PCR techniques, no significant changes in neuroglobin expression in the adult murine brain was observed in response to chronic 10% oxygen. These results support the hypothesis that neuroglobin is a hemoprotein that is expressed in the brain and may have diverse functional roles.
- In situ hybridization