Alpha 2A, 2B, and 2C adrenergic receptors are seven transmembrane receptors that couple to inhibitory G-proteins. Alpha 2C has a wide distribution pattern in the CNS. On neurons Alpha 2 adrenergic receptors are located on both pre- and postsynaptic domains where they mediate an inhibitory role in the central and peripheral nervous system. Alpha 2C has a wide distribution pattern in the CNS. At the spinal cord level the vast majority of alpha 2C is not of primary afferent origin; however, a small fraction of neurons in DRG do express mRNA for alpha 2C and harbor the protein. Colocalization has been observed between alpha 2C and enkephalin in the spinal cord dorsal horn, suggesting that alpha 2C may be expressed by a subset of spinal interneurons. The distribution pattern of alpha 2C suggests functions at several levels in the brain. Antibody showed positive staining in rat spinal cord dorsal horn, ventral horn motor neurons and retina. When examined in other brain regions known to express α2A staining was not observed.
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