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J Neurosci Res. 1986;16(1):251-64.

The hormonal regulation of gene expression of glial markers: glutamine synthetase and glycerol phosphate dehydrogenase in primary cultures of rat brain and in C6 cell line.


Increases in the mRNA levels of two neuroglial markers, glutamine synthetase (EC; GS) and glycerolphosphate dehydrogenase (EC; GPDH), were observed in hydrocortisone-treated cultures of astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, respectively, and in C6 cells by Northern blot analysis and in situ hybridization. In vitro transcription assays demonstrated increased GS transcription in isolated nuclei from hydrocortisone (HC)-treated primary cultures of astrocytes and C6 cells, relative to untreated cells. This increased transcription is reflected in increased GS mRNA levels in the cytoplasm and increased levels of GS protein synthesis. Sodium butyrate (NaB) blocked the glucocorticoid-mediated increase in GS transcription in the primary cultures of astrocytes but not in C6 cells. From our earlier observations (Kumar et al: J Neurochem 43:1455-1463, 1984) we found NaB in combination with HC to increase the levels of GS mRNA and GS protein synthesis (Weingarten et al: FEBS Lett 126:289-291, 1981). We now report that NaB, alone or in combination with HC, does not increase the rate of transcription, suggesting that NaB plays a role in post-transcriptional regulation of GS in C6. In addition, we report the presence of two distinct sizes of GS mRNA, 2.9 and 1.8 kb, in the primary cultures of astrocytes and C6 cells.

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