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Neurochem Res. 2012 May;37(5):958-64. doi: 10.1007/s11064-011-0688-7. Epub 2012 Jan 5.

Restraint stress in rats alters gene transcription and protein translation in the hippocampus.

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Department of Psychiatry, Alzheimer's Disease Research Centre, University of Szeged, Kálvária sgt. 57, 6701 Szeged, Hungary.


Stress is a relatively new and emerging risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Severe stress can alter brain characteristics such as neuronal plasticity, due to changes in the metabolism of cytoskeletal proteins. In this study, male Wistar rats were exposed to restraint stress (RS) for 5 h daily for different time periods. At the end of the exposure periods, the amounts of β-actin, cofilin, amyloid precursor protein (APP) and mitogen-activated protein kinase 1 (MAPK-1) RNAs and proteins were investigated. The mRNA expressions of β-actin, cofilin and MAPK-1 followed U-shaped time course. Acute (3 days) and chronic (21 days) RS caused a fourfold and tenfold increases, respectively, in hippocampal β-actin mRNA expression. In the case of cofilin mRNA expression, elevations were detected in the hippocampus on days 3, 7 and 21. The APP mRNA level was increased on day 21. On protein level, chronic stress elevated the levels of β-actin, cofilin and APP in the hippocampus. These results suggest that stress causes the induction of some genes and proteins that are also elevated in AD selectively in the hippocampal region of the rat brain.

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