Fetal development and neuronal/glial cell specificity of cAMP-dependent protein kinase subunit mRNAs in rat brain

John S. Massa, Patricia S. Walker, David R. Moser, Robert E. Fellows, Richard A. Maurer

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6 Scopus citations


All known actions of cAMP in the brain require cAMP-dependent protein kinase (cAMPdPK), which consists of regulatory (R) and catalytic (C) subunits (R2C2). Using homologous rat cDNAs for all known cAMPdPK subunit isoforms found in the brain (RIα, Rβ, Rllα, RIIβ, Cα, Cβ we observe that, in the fetal rat brain from 12 days of gestation to birth, while α subunit (RIα, Rllα, Cα) mRNA levels are abundant, β subunit (Riβ, RIIβ, Cβ) mRNA levels increase from undetectable or very low levels to abundant levels. Furthermore, while a subunit mRNA levels are abundant in both primary neuronal and primary glial cultures, p subunit mRNA levels are very low (Cβ) or undetectable (Riβ, RIIβ) in primary glial cultures, but are abundant in primary neuronal cultures. Thus, prior to about 12 days of gestation, cAMP in the brain may act only via the α cAMPdPK subunits in neuronal and glial precursor cells. After 12 days of gestation, coincident with the onset of final cell division in neurons, β cAMPdPK subunits may also mediate the effects of cAMP predominantly in neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-53
Number of pages7
JournalDevelopmental Neuroscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991



  • CAMP-dependent protein kinase
  • Fetal brain
  • Glia
  • Neuron
  • Primary culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience

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