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Cell Tissue Res. 2008 Jul;333(1):39-47. doi: 10.1007/s00441-008-0605-9. Epub 2008 May 8.

Glucocorticoid receptor (DlGR1) is expressed in pre-larval and larval stages of the teleost fish Dicentrarchus labrax.

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  • 1Laboratory of Marine Immunobiology, Department of Animal Biology, University of Palermo, Via Archirafi 18, 90123, Palermo, Italy.


Glucocorticoid hormone receptors (GR), members of the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily, are ligand-dependent transcription factors expressed in various tissues by binding to specific DNA sequences. Since glucocorticoids have a role in maintaining the homeostatic status in fish, we previously cloned and sequenced a GR (DlGR1) of adult Dicentrarchus labrax; we also showed mRNA expression (in situ hybridization) and tissue immunohistochemical localization of DlGR1 in several organs. This work has now been extended to the examination of the expression, tissue distribution, and cytolocalization of DlGR1 in larval developmental stages by similar methods to those used for the adult organs. The riboprobe included the DlGR1 cDNA transcriptional activation domain (1.0-1,300 nucleotide sequence) showing no significant similarity with a known second GR cDNA sequence of sea bass. The antibody was specific for an opportunely selected peptide sequence of the DlGR1 transcriptional domain. In histological sections of brain, head kidney, gills, liver, anterior intestine, and spleen cells, the riboprobe was mainly located in the cell nucleus. The antibody identified DlGR1 in the head kidney, gills, liver, and anterior intestine, mainly located in the cytosol. These results are in agreement with the receptor location in adult tissues. The greater presence of both the transcript and protein of DlGR1 in the late developmental stages suggests an increasing expression of this receptor. The cytolocalization (nuclear-cytosolic) and presumptive roles of DlGR1-containing tissues are discussed.

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