The aim of this study was to observe the distributional characteristics of vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2), in human embryonic brain tissues and explore the relationship of these characteristics with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The distribution of VMAT2 and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in substantia nigra pars compacta (SNC), ventral tegmental area (VTA) and locus coeruleus (LC) of human embryonic brains of different gestational ages was observed using immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis. VMAT2 expression in SNC was significantly lower than that in VTA and LC (P < 0.05). VMAT2 expression in SNC is lower than that in VTA and LC. The weakened protective function of VMAT2 may be an important cause for the selective loss of dopaminergic neurons in SNC caused by PD.
Key words: Parkinson’s disease, vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2), immunohistochemistry, tyrosine hydroxylase, human fetus.
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