Succinic semialdehyde reductase (SSR) that catalyzes the reduction of succinic semialdehyde (SSA) to gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) has been identified as one of the NADPH-dependent aldehyde reductases. Reduction of SSA to GHB strongly supports the proposal that GHB biosynthesis may be an important step in the GABA shunt. It is pharmacologically significant in anesthesia, evoking the state of sleep, and an increase in brain dopamine level. Monoclonal antibodies against bovine brain succinic semialdehyde reductase were produced. Using the anti-succinic semialdehyde reductase antibodies, we investigated the distribution of brain succinic semialdehyde reductase in rat brain. The brain tissues were sectioned with a basis on the rat brain atlas of Paxinos and were stained by the immunoperoxidase staining method using monoclonal antibodies. In the section of the frontal lobe, immunoreactive cells were observed in the lateral septal area, the ventral pallidum, which belongs to the substantia innominata. We could observe immunoreactive cells in the reticular thalamic nucleus, which is closely related with 'sleeping', the basal nuclei of Meynert, which is associated with Alzheimer's disease, and hypothalamic nuclei. Immunoreactive cells were also shown in raphe nuclei or the reticular formation of the midbrain, cerebellum, and inferior olivary nuclei of the medulla oblongata. Succinic semialdehyde reductase-immunoreactive cells were distributed extensively in rat brain, especially immunoreactive cells were strongly observed in the areas associated with the limbic system and reticular formation.
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