Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
In our previous study, apparent reduction of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) mRNA was seen in the hippocampus and the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) during repeated immobilization (IMO) stress, but not following starvation. Our laboratory has also shown that the sp1 activates, whereas tumour suppressor p53 represses the promoter activity of GR gene. In an attempt to reveal the possibility that transcription factors such as sp1 and/or p53 are involved in the regulation of GR mRNA expression in the hippocampus and in the PVN in vivo, we examined the expression of GR mRNA, p53 mRNA, and sp1 mRNA in the hippocampus and in the PVN during repeated IMO and following starvation. In addition, the expression of these mRNAs was examined in the anterior pituitary, another GR-rich area. GR mRNA in all subfields of the hippocampus was robustly decreased, while GR mRNA in the anterior pituitary was increased, 24 h following 4 × IMO (2 h daily, for 4 consecutive days) and immediately after 5 × IMO. GR mRNA in the PVN was significantly decreased immediately after 5 × IMO, but not at 24 h after 4 × IMO. Conversely, p53 mRNA in the PVN and hippocampus was increased, whereas p53 mRNA in the anterior pituitary was decreased, 24 h following 4 × IMO and immediately after 5 × IMO. Sp1 mRNA was unchanged in all areas examined following repeated IMO. Following 4 days of starvation, neither GR mRNA, p53 mRNA nor sp1 mRNA showed any changes in the PVN and the hippocampus, except there was a minor decrease in GR mRNA in CA1-2. In the anterior pituitary, 4 days of starvation induced a minor, but significant increase in GR mRNA, whereas it decreased p53 mRNA. Overall, regression analyses revealed a negative correlation between GR mRNA levels and p53 mRNA levels in CA1-2 and dentate gyrus of the hippocampus and in the anterior pituitary. GR mRNA in the PVN also showed a tendency towards the negative correlation with p53 mRNA levels. The results raise the possibility that p53 negatively regulates GR mRNA expression in the PVN, the hippocampus and the anterior pituitary during repeated immobilization stress.
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