A competitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for quantitating gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) mRNA level in a single micropunch of the rat preoptic area (POA) is described. The POA (600 μm in depth) was micropunched from frozen rat brain slices and used for mRNA isolation using Dynabeads-oligo(dT) magnetic separation technique. The target RNA combined with a synthetic, deletion mutant GnRH cRNA as an internal standard, is co-reverse transcribed, and their cDNAs are subsequently co-amplified by Taq DNA polymerase in the same tube in which the same GnRH primers are used. This PCR protocol is sensitive enough to detect GnRH mRNA level in a single POA micropunch derived from an individual rat. There is a linear increase of the amount of GnRH PCR products as a function of input RNA and of the number of PCR cycles. Addition of mutant GnRH cRNA as an internal standard allows us to quantitate GnRH mRNA level in biological samples and to compensate variations of PCR reaction between samples. Following preoptic treatment with 5'-ADMP, which depletes selectively norepinephrine (NE), GnRH mRNA level was significantly reduced. This simple, yet highly sensitive PCR method appears to be a valuable tool for the study of the cellular and molecular regulation of GnRH gene expression in a variety of experimental models.
- Competitive polymerase chain reaction
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone
- Preoptic area
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology