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RT-PCR analysis of shaker, shab, shaw, and shal gene expression in single neurons and glial cells.

D J Baro, C L Cole, R M Harris-Warrick

Recept. Channels, 1996 , 4, 149-59

We have developed a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method to examine single neurons and glial cells in the stomatogastric ganglion of the spiny lobster Panulirus interruptus for the expression of four members of the Shaker family of potassium channel genes. Using this technique we found that shaker, shab, shaw, and shal are expressed in 100%, 78%, 100%, and 94% of stomatogastric neurons. Furthermore, neuronal shab, shaw, and shal transcript levels vary among cells in a manner which is independent of cell size. We also detected Shaker family gene expression in glial cells. Shaker, shaw, and shal are detectably expressed in 100%, 63%, and 100% of the glial caps examined, respectively, while shab gene expression could not be detected in glial cells.