Neurotensin and neurotensin receptor 1 mRNA expression in song-control regions changes during development in male zebra finches.

Bikash Pattnaik // Publications // Jul 01 2018

PubMed ID: 29569407

Author(s): Merullo DP, Asogwa CN, Sanchez-Valpuesta M, Hayase S, Pattnaik BR, Wada K, Riters LV. Neurotensin and neurotensin receptor 1 mRNA expression in song-control regions changes during development in male zebra finches. Dev Neurobiol. 2018 Jul;78(7):671-686. doi: 10.1002/dneu.22589. Epub 2018 Mar 30. PMID 29569407

Journal: Developmental Neurobiology, Volume 78, Issue 7, 07 2018

Learned vocalizations are important for communication in some vertebrate taxa. The neural circuitry for the learning and production of vocalizations is well known in songbirds, many of which learn songs initially during a critical period early in life. Dopamine is essential for motor learning, including song learning, and dopamine-related measures change throughout development in song-control regions such as HVC, the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (LMAN), Area X, and the robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA). In mammals, the neuropeptide neurotensin strongly interacts with dopamine signaling. This study investigated a potential role for the neurotensin system in song learning by examining how neurotensin (Nts) and neurotensin receptor 1 (Ntsr1) expression change throughout development. Nts and Ntsr1 mRNA expression was analyzed in song-control regions of male zebra finches in four stages of the song learning process: pre-subsong (25 days posthatch; dph), subsong (45 dph), plastic song (60 dph), and crystallized song (130 dph). Nts expression in LMAN during the subsong stage was lower compared to other time points. Ntsr1 expression was highest in HVC, Area X, and RA during the pre-subsong stage. Opposite and complementary expression patterns for the two genes in song nuclei and across the whole brain suggest distinct roles for regions that produce and receive Nts. The expression changes at crucial time points for song development are similar to changes observed in dopamine studies and suggest Nts may be involved in the process of vocal learning. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 78: 671-686, 2018.

© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.