Send to

Choose Destination
J Neuroendocrinol. 1999 Dec;11(12):951-8.

Perinatal developmental changes in expression of the neuropeptide genes preoptic regulatory factor-1 and factor-2, neuropeptide Y and GnRH in rat hypothalamus.

Author information

Department of Pharmacological and Physiological Science, St Louis University Health Sciences Center, St Louis, MO, USA.


The preoptic regulatory factor genes, PORF-1 and PORF-2, are expressed in the rat brain in a regional-, age- and gender-dependent fashion. They are also expressed in the testis, where PORF-2 mRNA localizes to dividing germ cells while PORF-1 mRNA is associated with newly differentiated sperm. This suggests that PORF-1 and PORF-2 may play distinct roles in cell growth and differentiation. Moreover, the two preoptic regulatory factors are also highly expressed in the immature and mature rat hypothalamus, and their expression is modulated by gonadal hormones. Therefore, in the present study we investigated the expression of these two factors in neuroendocrine regions of the developing rat brain by addressing the following questions. First, are PORF-1 and PORF-2 mRNAs expressed during perinatal development in the preoptic area-anterior hypothalamus (POA-AH) and medial basal hypothalamus (MBH), and how do their levels vary? Second, are there gender differences in their expression? We also compared expression of the PORF mRNAs with those of neuropeptide Y (NPY) and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which play critical neuroendocrine roles, in these brain regions. PORF-1, PORF-2, and NPY mRNAs in the POA-AH and MBH, and GnRH mRNA in the POA-AH, were quantified by RNase protection assay at embryonic day (E) 18-19, and postnatal days (P) 0, 5, 10 and 15 in male and female rats. The results show that the four neuropeptide genes are regulated differentially during the perinatal-prepubertal period. PORF-1 mRNA shows age-related increases in expression from E18-E19 to P15 in POA-AH and MBH, without significant gender differences. In contrast, PORF-2 mRNA shows both age and gender differences in expression in these brain regions, with decreases occurring during the same time period in development. NPY mRNA increases similarly in males and females with age in POA-AH and MBH during this period. GnRH mRNA does not change during this period. Taken together with previous studies, the results suggest possible roles for PORF-1 and NPY in the pubertal process, since their expression is maximal from the prepubertal to the early pubertal period. The observation of highest levels of expression of PORF-2 in embryonic neuroendocrine tissues suggests a possible involvement of this neuropeptide in prenatal/neonatal developmental events.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center