The castration-induced atrophy of the rat prostate was used as a model for the validation of a sensitive technique allowing the quantitation of total mRNA in polyribosomes. Electron micrographs of polyribosome samples showed a decrease in polyribosomes length 7 days after castration (GDX). Specificity of labeled oligo(dt) probe for poly(A) was demonstrated and the technique was successfully applied to demonstrate that GDX is associated with a decrease in poly(A) mRNA content of polyribosomes. Provided that normalization of the hybridization signal for mRNA is achieved with a rRNA cDNA probe, the assay therefore represents a suitable tool for further studies regarding the translational regulation of total and/or specific mRNAs.

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