Localization and ontogeny of the orphan receptor OR-1 in the rat brain

Tommi Kainu, Juha Kononen, Eva Enmark, Jan Åke Gustafsson, Markku Pelto-Huikko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


This study describes the expression of the OR-1 orphan receptor in embryonic, postnatal, and adult brain tissue studied by in situ hybridization. This newly characterized member of the nuclear receptor superfamily functions as a modulator of retinoic acid and thyroid hormone signalling by influencing gene activation by these hormones from a distinct promoter region. In the fetal brain OR-1 mRNA was observed from E13-E16 in the developing pons, tegmentum, pontine flexure, medulla, inferior and superior colliculi, cerebellum, hippocampus, thalamus, striatum, and cortical plate. At E18, OR-1 was expressed in the hippocampus, cerebellum, ventricular layer of the developing cortex and cortical plate, striatum, and olfactory bulb. In the E21 to early postnatal brain the highest expression of OR-1 mRNA was seen in the hippocampus, cerebellum, striatum, and olfactory bulb. The expression of OR-1 in the cerebellum increased during postnatal development and by d P21 OR-1 mRNA had reached the levels present in the adult in the cerebellar cortex. In the adult brain the highest expression of OR-1 mRNA was observed in the CA1 area of the hippocampus and the cerebellar cortex. We conclude that OR-1 is widely expressed in the fetal brain, whereas in the postnatal and adult brains OR-1 mRNA is more discretely localized, and that the amount of OR-1 mRNA increases in the cerebellum during postnatal development. The results of this study suggest that, in the fetal brain, OR-1 has a spatially widespread role in modulating gene activation by retinoids and thyroid hormone, whereas in the adult brain this modulation occurs only in distinct neuronal populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-39
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Molecular Neuroscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996


  • Brain development
  • Orphan receptors
  • Retinoic acid
  • Thyroid hormone
  • Transcriptional regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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