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C-fos mRNA pattern and corticotropin-releasing factor neuronal activity throughout the brain of rats injected centrally with a prostaglandin of E2 type

, : C-fos mRNA pattern and corticotropin-releasing factor neuronal activity throughout the brain of rats injected centrally with a prostaglandin of E2 type. Journal Of Neuroimmunology. 70(2): 163-179

The present study investigated the effect of central administration of the prostaglandin of E2 type (PGE2) on the distribution of the immediate early gene (IEG) c-fos mRNA and the transcriptional activity of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and its type 1 receptor in the brain of conscious rats. Adult male rats were sacrificed 30 min and 2 h after a single infusion of PGE2 into the right lateral ventricle (2 micrograms/10 microliters) and their brains cut from the olfactory bulb to the end of the medulla in 30 micrometer coronal sections. mRNAs encoding the IEG c-fos and CRF1 receptor were assayed by in situ hybridization histochemistry using 35S-labeled exonic riboprobes whereas the primary transcript (heteronuclear (hn)RNA) for CRF was detected using intronic probe technology as an index of CRF transcriptional activity. Colocalization of c-fos mRNA within CRF, vasopressin (AVP), and oxytocin (OT) neurons was determined by means of a combination of immunocytochemistry and in situ hybridization techniques on the same brain sections. Thirty min after PGE2 injection, a moderate to strong positive signal for c-fos mRNA was detected in multiple structures of the brain such as the medial preoptic area/organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis, supraoptic nucleus (SON), parvocellular and magnocellular divisions of the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus, central nucleus of the amygdala, nucleus of the solitary tract, dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus, area postrema, dorsal division of the ambiguus nucleus, and throughout the choroid plexus and leptomeninges. A smaller but significant c-fos expression was observed in various structures including the subfornical organ, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, arcuate nucleus, and periventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. Two h after treatment with the PG, the signal for c-fos mRNA in most of these brain nuclei vanished. In the parvocellular nucleus of the PVN, c-fos was expressed in CRF-immunoreactive (ir) and OT-ir neurons, whereas in the magnocellular part of that nucleus and in the SON, this transcript was essentially colocalized in OT-ir neurons. Activation of CRF neuroendocrine cells was also associated with an increase in CRF transcription as revealed by the selective presence of CRF primary transcript (hnRNA), which was stimulated only in the PVN but not in any other nuclei in the brains of PGE2-treated rats. Central administration of PGE2 also induced expression of the CRF type 1 receptor in the parvocellular PVN. Taken together, these results provide clear anatomical evidence that central PGE2 injection causes specific and selective expression of c-fos in several brain structures recognized to be activated in the brains of endotoxin-challenged rats. It is therefore possible that PG of E2 type plays a crucial role within the CNS in the interface between the immune and nervous systems to modulate neuroendocrine responses, such as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.


PMID: 8898725

DOI: 10.1016/s0165-5728(96)00114-2

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