Open Access Research article

Distribution of D-3-aminoisobutyrate-pyruvate aminotransferase in the rat brain

Masao Abe1*, Shinichiro Ochi1, Yoko Mori1, Kiyohiro Yamazaki1, Takashi Ishimaru1, Yuta Yoshino1, Ryuji Fukuhara3, Satoshi Tanimukai1, Seiji Matsuda2 and Shu-ichi Ueno1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Neuropsychiatry, Ehime University Graduate School of Medicine, Shitsukawa, Toon, Ehime 791-0295, Japan

2 Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Neuroscience, Ehime University Graduate School of Medicine, Shitsukawa, Toon, Ehime 791-0295, Japan

3 Department of Neuropsychiatry, Faculty of Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kumamoto University, 1-1-1, Honjo, Chuou-ku, Kumamoto, Kumamoto 860-8556, Japan

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BMC Neuroscience 2014, 15:53  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-15-53

Published: 27 April 2014



D-3-aminoisobutyrate, an intermediary product of thymine, is converted to 2-methyl-3-oxopropanoate using pyruvate as an amino acceptor by D-3-aminoisobutyrate-pyruvate aminotransferase (D-AIB AT; EC A large amount of D-AIB AT is distributed in the kidney and liver; however, small amounts are found in the brain. Recently, D-AIB AT was reported to metabolize asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) in vivo and was suggested to be an important enzyme for nitric oxide metabolism because ADMA is a competitive inhibitor for nitric oxide synthase. In this study, we examined the distribution of D-AIB AT in the rat brain further to understand its role. We measured D-AIB AT mRNA and protein expression using quantitative RT-PCR and Western blotting, and monitored its distribution using immunohistochemical staining.


D-AIB AT was distributed throughout the brain, with high expression in the cortex and hippocampus. Immunohistochemical staining revealed that D-AIB AT was highly expressed in the retrosplenial cortex and in hippocampal neurons.


Our results suggest that D-AIB AT is distributed in the examined- just the regions and may play an important role there.

D-3-aminoisobutyrate-pyruvate aminotransferase; Asymmetric dimethylarginine; RT-PCR; Western blotting; Immunohistochemistry