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Antisense oligonucleotides in the study of central mechanisms of the cardiovascular regulation

  • Juraj Culman (a1)
    • Published online by Cambridge University Press: 10 January 2001


In the past several years, the progress in the development of molecular biology and the elucidation of gene sequences has created new approaches for studying biological functions and developing new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. One of the most exciting advances has been the development of antisense technology, which represents a new strategy allowing modulation of protein synthesis with high specificity by preventing protein expression at the level of RNA or DNA. Many classical pharmacological approaches in neurobiological research are often based on the inhibition of biologically active proteins, such as receptors for neurotransmitters, or enzymes involved in neurotransmitter synthesis or degradation. The use of antisense oligodeoxynucleotides offers an alternative tool to manipulate selectively the expression of neurotransmitters or their receptors in neuronal tissue. This approach is especially useful when selective, high-affinity antagonists are not available. As a result, this technology has gained acceptance in the study of cell signalling mechanisms and the molecular basis of neuronal function. This paper provides a brief background to the antisense technique and explores methodological aspects, particularly in the whole animal. The use of the antisense technology in studies focused on central mechanisms regulating the cardiovascular system is then discussed.



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