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J Neuroendocrinol. 2003 Oct;15(10):916-24.

Corticotropin-releasing factor type-1 receptor mRNA is not induced in mouse hypothalamus by either stress or osmotic stimulation.

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Department of Bioregulation, Institute of Development and Ageing Sciences, Nippon Medical School, Graduate School, Kawasaki, Japan.


In rats, acute stress substantially increases corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) type 1 receptor (CRFR-1) mRNA expression in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and osmotic stimulation induces both CRF and CRFR-1 mRNA in magnocellular PVN and supraoptic nucleus (SON). However, these phenomena have not been analysed in other species. We compared CRF and CRFR-1 expression in rat and mouse hypothalamus. Male C57BL/6 mice and Wistar rats were exposed to acute restraint stress for 3 h, or to hypertonic saline ingestion for 7 days. Restraint stress increased CRF and c-fos mRNA expression in both rat and mouse PVN. CRFR-1 mRNA was barely detectable in controls, whereas restraint stress substantially increased CRFR-1 mRNA in rat PVN, but not in mouse. Hypertonic saline ingestion induced CRF mRNA in magnocellular PVN and SON of the rat, but did not alter CRF mRNA levels in mouse hypothalamus. CRFR-1 mRNA was also induced in magnocellular PVN and SON of the rat in response to osmotic stimulation, but not in mouse. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that CRFR-1-like immunoreactivity (ir) was distributed within parvocellular and magnocellular PVN of mouse and rat. CRFR-1-ir in rat PVN was increased by acute stress and osmotic stimulation. By contrast, these treatments did not alter CRFR-1-ir in mouse PVN. Combined immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization revealed that CRFR-1-ir was most frequently colocalized to CRF in mouse PVN, whereas only a small percentage of oxytocin and vasopressin-producing cells coexpressed CRFR-1-ir. These results indicate that (i) by contrast to rats, neither acute stress nor osmotic stimulation induces CRFR-1 mRNA expression in the mouse PVN; (ii) osmotic stimulation does not alter CRF mRNA expression in parvocellular and magnocellular neurones of mouse PVN; and (iii) acute stress increases c-fos and CRF mRNA to a similar degree in mouse and rat PVN. Thus, differences may exist between mouse and rat in the regulation of CRF and CRFR-1 gene expression in hypothalamus following stress and osmotic stimulation.

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