Terminal coma affects messenger RNA detection in post mortem human temporal cortex.
Harrison PJ., Procter AW., Barton AJ., Lowe SL., Najlerahim A., Bertolucci PH., Bowen DM., Pearson RC.
In situ hybridization histochemistry has been used to study the amount of M1 muscarinic receptor mRNA in temporal cortex from subjects with Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders, where the duration of terminal coma was known. Total polyadenylated mRNA and glutamate decarboxylase activity were also measured. Both muscarinic receptor mRNA and enzyme activity showed a significant decline with increasing duration of terminal coma, but were not related to diagnosis. Polyadenylated mRNA signal did not show an association with coma. These data indicate the need to consider the nature of the terminal illness in post mortem studies of mRNA as well as for neurochemical research.