Quantitative RT-PCR analyses of five evolutionary conserved genes in Alligator brains during development

Sarah M. Wilson, Tianli Zhu, Rajesh Khanna, Michael B. Pritz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gene expression was investigated in the major brain subdivisions (telencephalon, diencephalon, midbrain and hindbrain) in a representative reptile, Alligator mississipiensis, during the later stages of embryonic development. The following genes were examined: voltage-gated sodium channel isoforms: NaV1.1 and NaV1.2; synaptic vesicle 2a (SV2a); synaptophysin; and calbindin 2. With the exception of synaptophysin, which was only expressed in the telencephalon, all genes were expressed in all brain regions sampled at the time periods examined. For NaV1.1, gene expression varied according to brain area sampled. When compared with NaV1.1, the pattern of NaV1.2 gene expression differed appreciably. The gene expression of SV2a was the most robust of any of the genes examined. Of the other genes examined, although differences were noted, no statistically significant changes were found either between brain part or time interval. Although limited, the present analysis is the first quantitative mRNA gene expression study in any reptile during development. Together with future experiments of a similar nature, the present gene expression results should determine which genes are expressed in major brain areas at which times during development in Alligator. When compared with other amniotes, these results will prove useful for determining how gene expression during development influences adult brain structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-343
Number of pages5
JournalTranslational Neuroscience
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Alligator
  • Calbindin 2
  • Synaptic vesicle protein 2
  • Synaptophysin
  • Voltage-gated sodium channel
  • qPCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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