, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 237-244

Changes of Glucocorticoid Receptor and Levels of CRF mRNA, POMC mRNA in Brain of Chronic Immobilization Stress Rats

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The effect of chronic immobilization stress (CIS) on the biochemical parameters has been one of the hot topics in neuroscience. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of CIS on the levels of glucocorticoid receptor (GR), corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) mRNA and proopiomelanocortin (POMC) mRNA in brains of rats. The rats were randomly divided into stressed and control groups. The stressed group was given CIS 3 h a day for 21 days continuously. GR of rats’ hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC) were detected by immunohistochemistry method. In addition, the CRF mRNA and POMC mRNA of rats’ brain regions (hypothalamus, pituitary, hippocampus, and PFC) were detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). After exposure to CIS for 21 days, the GR immuno staining (the gray values) of the stressed group was less than that of the control group in hippocampal CA1, dentate gyrus, and PFC (P < 0.01). Quantitative analysis indicated the presence of CRF mRNA in hypothalamus and pituitary, while POMC mRNA in PFC, hippocampus and pituitary of the stressed group was less than that of the control group (P < 0.01). The decreased levels of GR, CRF mRNA, and POMC mRNA in different brain regions may contribute to explanation of the CIS induced mechanism.