• Journal Article

Stress differentially modulates mRNA expression for corticotrophin-releasing hormone receptors in hypothalamus, hippocampus and pituitary of prairie voles

Citation

Pournajafi-Nazarloo, H., Partoo, L., Sanzenbacher, L., Paredes, J., Hashimoto, K., Azizi, F., & Carter Porges, C. (2009). Stress differentially modulates mRNA expression for corticotrophin-releasing hormone receptors in hypothalamus, hippocampus and pituitary of prairie voles. Neuropeptides, 43(2), 113-123. DOI: 10.1016/j.npep.2008.12.002

Abstract

This study compares the effect of an acute stressor (restraint for 1 h) versus a chronic stressor (social isolation for 4 weeks) on the expression of mRNAs for corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), CRH receptor type 1 (CRH-R1) and type 2 (CRH-R2) in the hypothalamus, hippocampus and pituitary of socially monogamous female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). Animals were studied immediately following a stressor or as a function of repairing with a familiar sibling. Despite elevated expression of CRH mRNA, no alteration of CRH-R1 mRNA in the hypothalamus was observed following restraint stress or 4 weeks of social isolation. Hypothalamic CRH-R2 mRNA was significantly lower in voles exposed to restraint or isolation. CRH-R2 mRNA also remained down-regulated in isolated animals when these animals were re-paired with their sibling for one day following 28 days of isolation. Restraint, but not isolation, significantly increased CRH-R1 mRNA and decreased CRH-R2 mRNA in the pituitary. However, these differences were no longer observed when these animals were re-paired with their sibling for one day. Despite elevated CRH mRNA expression, CRH-R1 mRNA did not increase in the hippocampus following restraint or social isolation. Social isolation, but not restraint stress, increased CRH-R2 mRNA in the hippocampus, when these animals were re-paired with their sibling for one day the modulation of CRH mRNA remained up-regulated. Plasma corticosterone was elevated only following restraint, and not in animals that were handled, isolated or re-paired. The results of the present study reveal that acute restraint as well as social isolation can have significant consequences for the modulation of gene expression for the CRH receptors in brain and pituitary of prairie voles. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved