We first examined whether total BK, and splice variant, mRNA expression levels differed across distinct regions of the adult (postnatal day 35, P35) murine CNS. To compare the relative expression of total BK channel mRNA transcripts between different CNS regions of P35 mice all data were normalised to the expression of the housekeeping gene, ?-actin, in each region. Total BK channel mRNA expression was variable between different regions with the highest levels observed in frontal cortex and entorhinal cortex (Figure 1b). Regions with the lowest levels (< 50% of the level in entorhinal cortex) were cerebellum, medulla and posterior cortex. The spinal cord, midbrain, pons, thalamus, hypothalamus, hippocampus, olfactory bulb and striatum displayed intermediate total BK mRNA levels (Figure 1b).
Differential expression of the STREX and ZERO BK channel splice variant mRNA was also observed across these tissues at P35. The relative proportion of STREX transcripts (expressed as a percentage of total BK mRNA in each CNS region) was low in all regions tested, with levels typically < 10% of total BK mRNA transcripts. (more…)