, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 349-372

Regulation of adrenocorticosteroid receptor mRNA expression in the central nervous system

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  1. The adrenocorticosteroid receptors are hormone-activated transcription factors that have the potential to influence gene expression in a wide variety of CNS neurons. This review summarizes the present state of knowledge regarding the localization and regulation of glucocorticoid (or type II corticosteroid) receptor and mineralocorticoid (or type I corticosteroid) receptor mRNAs in brain, from the perspective of their potential influence on a wide variety of hormone-responsive genes.

  2. Corticosteroid receptors are widely but not uniformly localized in the CNS and exhibit very complex regulation by glucocorticoids, gonadal steroids, neurotransmitter systems, and endogenous circadian drive. Both receptor species are present during development, implying an ability for these transcription factors to interact with neuronal differentiation, growth, and viability, and both receptors appear to regulate with age, suggesting relationships between adrenocorticosteroid receptor populations and brain aging. Regulation of adrenocorticosteroid receptor mRNA expression at the level of polyadenylation and splicing indicates that GR and MR biosynthesis is a dynamic process susceptible to numerous classes of information.

  3. Further study of GR and MR biosynthesis at the gene, mRNA, and protein level is required to determine the true meaning of the regulatory complexities seen in defined neuronal circuits.