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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Role of glucocorticoids in the modulation of corticotropin-releasing hormone mRNA level by the endogenous benzodiazepine receptor ligand octadecaneuropeptide in rat brain.

We have recently demonstrated that the endozepine octadecaneuropeptide (ODN) exerts an inhibitory influence on corticotropin-releasing hormone ( CRH) mRNA expression. The effect is mediated by GABAA receptors and is reversed by adrenalectomy. In order to investigate the involvement of peripheral steroids and more particularly of glucocorticoids in the ODN modulation of CRH mRNA expression, we have evaluated, in adrenalectomized and castrated male rats (ADX/CX), the effect of dexamethasone (DEX) pretreatment on CRH mRNA expression induced by central injection of ODN. Variations in the CRH mRNA expression in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus have been studied using quantitative in situ hybridization. The intracerebroventricular injection of ODN (4 microg/kg), as previously reported, induced a significant inhibition of CRH mRNA expression in sham-operated rats (-33%). This inhibition was reversed in ADX/CX male rats (+65% vs. sham vehicle-injected rats and +20% vs. ADX/CX vehicle-injected rats). Pretreatment with DEX (5 mg/kg) during 4 days induced in ADX/CX rats a decrease of 22% (vs. ADX/CX vehicle-injected rats) in the CRH mRNA signal, which became comparable to that observed in sham vehicle-injected rats. Pretreatment of ADX/CX animals with DEX prevented the ODN-induced increase in CRH mRNA expression, inducing rather a 16 and 30% inhibition when compared to vehicle- and ODN-injected ADX/CX rats, respectively. Moreover the CRH mRNA levels observed in ODN-injected ADC/CX rats were higher than those observed in sham vehicle- and sham ODN-injected rats (+16% vs. sham vehicle-injected rats and +63% vs. sham ODN-injected rats). These results indicate that dexamethasone treatment in ADX/CX rats can restore mRNA levels to those observed in sham-operated animals but not the inhibiting effect induced by ODN. Together with previous findings, these results suggest that adrenal and/or gonadal factor(s) other than glucocorticoids are involved in ODN modulation of the HPA axis.[1]


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