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J Neuroendocrinol. 1994 Apr;6(2):153-9.

Chronic administration of glucocorticoids directly upregulates prepro-neuropeptide Y and Y1-receptor mRNA levels in the arcuate nucleus of the rat.

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Department of Anatomy, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


The complete sequence of the cDNA encoding the neuropeptide Y (NPY) Y1-receptor has recently been deduced from a rat brain library, and the presence of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) encoding Y1-receptor protein has been demonstrated within the brain. Using quantitative in situ hybridization histochemistry, the content and distribution of Y1-receptor and preproNPY mRNAs have been investigated in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus of adrenalectomized rats receiving glucocorticoid replacement therapy for 12 days by means of either high doses of dexamethasone in their drinking water or by subcutaneous corticosterone pellets. Basal metabolic parameters such as weight gain or loss, blood glucose and plasma insulin were monitored: Dexamethasone treatment induced weight loss and a state of hyperinsulinemia with normoglycemia, while corticosterone treated animals displayed metabolic parameters identical to sham ADX animals. Within the arcuate nucleus of glucocorticoid treated animals, levels of Y1-receptor and preproNPY mRNAs were increased. In contrast, adrenalectomy itself had no effect upon Y1-receptor mRNA levels or preproNPY mRNA levels in the arcuate nucleus. These studies demonstrate that glucocorticoids exert a stimulatory action on levels of Y1-receptor mRNA and preproNPY mRNA levels in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus. This is the first evidence to suggest that the expression of a neuropeptide-receptor gene in the central nervous system may be directly sensitive to peripheral hormonal signals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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