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I'm studying a neuroscientific paper, and in it the authors state that "defensive behaviors are mediated by a BLA population of magnocellular R-spondin 2-expressing (RSPO2⁺) neurons".

I know that R-spondin 2 is a protein, but what is the meaning of R-spondin 2-expressing neurons? What is an x-expressing neuron, with x = some protein?

Thank you very much.

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    $\begingroup$ Can you include an APA reference to the paper in question? $\endgroup$
    – Steven Jeuris
    Sep 3 at 6:16
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Expressing a protein means that the protein is produced in those cells at a detectable level.

From https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/express

: to cause (a gene) to manifest its effects in the phenotype

also : to manifest or produce (a character, molecule, or effect) by a genetic process

This is basic biology terminology. I'd highly recommend courses/textbooks in cell biology before neuroscience.

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