Specific cellular expression of monoamine oxidase B during early stages of quail embryogenesis

Pat Levitt, Gerald D. Maxwell, John E. Pintar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Monoamine oxidase-B (MAO-B) is one of two distinct molecular forms of MAO that in part regulate the cellular levels of biogenic amines. In order to determine whether discrete cell populations known to express aminergic properties in the vertebrate embryo also express MAO-B, the distribution of MAO-B-immunoreactive cells was examined in early developing quail embryos. Two major patterns of staining emerge. First, tissues known to express several aminergic characteristics are initially MAO-B positive at early stages of development and continue to express immunoreactivity through Zacchei stage 20, the oldest stage examined. These include cells of the sympathetic and some cranial and trunk sensory ganglia (beginning at stage 13), the pancreas (stage 14), and the brain stem raphe (stage 14). Second, other structures that contain or accumulate biogenic amines are transiently MAO-B immunopositive during early stages of development. These tissues include extraembryonic yolk sac and presumptive gut endoderm (with most intense staining between stages 8 and 13), the ventral trunk neural tube (stages 14 and 16), and the notochord (stages 8-10). MAO-B immunoreactivity disappears from these regions at different stages, and none are MAO-B positive by stage 19-20. Other structures without known aminergic properties during early development also stain; these include liver (stage 20), mesenchymal cells that surround the Wolffian duct and lung buds (stages 14 and 18), and endothelial cells surrounding the dorsal aorta (stages 14 and 20). In general, however, MAO-B appears to be distributed in embryonic tissues that can use this enzyme to regulate biogenic amine levels either transiently or during initial phenotypic expression of aminergic traits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-361
Number of pages16
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1985
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Specific cellular expression of monoamine oxidase B during early stages of quail embryogenesis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this