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Neuroendocrinology. 1992 Feb;55(2):121-33.

Intrahippocampal colchicine alters hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing hormone and hippocampal steroid receptor mRNA in rat brain.

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Section on Functional Neuroanatomy, NIMH, Bethesda, Md 20892.


The hippocampus appears to be an important modulator of the negative feedback effects of glucocorticoids on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. It is not known if hippocampal subfields CA1-4 or the dentate gyrus differentially alter gene expression of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus. We, therefore, examined the effects of selective destruction of dentate gyrus granule cells, which send excitatory glutaminergic inputs to subfields CA4, CA3 and CA2, on CRH expression in the PVN. To determine the possible involvement of steroid receptors in the regulation of CRH expression, we examined the effects of intrahippocampal colchicine on gene expression of the mineralocorticoid (MR; type I) and glucocorticoid (GR; type II) receptors in hippocampal CA fields and dentate gyrus. Colchicine produced a selective loss of dentate gyrus granule cells without affecting pyramidal cells in CA1-4 as early as 1 day after injection; granule cells were completely destroyed after 3 days. CRH mRNA levels were reduced by 38-48% in the PVN 2-14 days after colchicine. MR mRNA levels were decreased in dorsal and ventral CA fields 1-7 days after colchicine. GR mRNA levels were relatively unchanged, showing a slight decrease only in dorsal CA fields on days 2-7. Unexpectedly, CRH was transiently expressed in dorsal and ventral CA fields 1-3 days after colchicine. In the same time period, mRNA levels of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate kinase were decreased, suggesting that increases in neural metabolic activity, indicated by this marker, are not responsible for the transient CRH effect. The results suggest that the dentate gyrus is important for maintenance of steroid hormone receptor mRNA levels in the hippocampus and CRH expression in the hypothalamic PVN, and that CRH gene expression is differentially regulated in the hypothalamus and hippocampus.

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