Distribution of the neurotensin receptor NTS1 in the rat CNS studied using an amino-terminal directed antibody.
The distribution of neurotensin receptor 1 immunoreactivity in the rat brain was studied using an antibody against the amino-terminal of the receptor expressed as a fusion protein with glutathione-S transferase. Affinity purified antibodies detected the fusion protein and the complete neurotensin receptor sequence expressed in Escherichia coli. The immunostaining was abolished by preabsorption with the amino-terminal fusion protein. Immunoreactive neurotensin receptor 1 immunoreactivity was detected on cell bodies and their processes in a number of CNS regions. In agreement with previous binding studies neurotensin receptor 1 immunoreactivity was particularly localised in cell bodies in the basal forebrain, nucleus basalis and substantia nigra. At the electron microscope level immunoreactivity was found both in axonal bouton and dendrites and spines in the basal forebrain indicating that neurotensin may act both pre- and post-synaptically. There were several regions such as the substantia gelatinosa, ventral caudate-putamen and the lateral reticular nucleus where the neurotensin receptor 1 positive cells had not previously been reported, indicating that distribution of this receptor is widespread.