Decrease in hypothalamic vasopressin mRNA poly(A) tail length following physiological stimulation
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The vasopressin mRNA in the adult male rat hypothalamus is modulated in two distinct ways by a dehydration stimulus. In addition to the well-established increase in transcript abundance, it has recently been demonstrated that the vasopressin mRNA poly(A) tail increases in length.
We have studied the ontogeny of poly(A) tail length modulation in neonates in response to milk deprivation and found that poly(A) tail length changes are age dependent. In neonates older than 12 days of age, the vasopressin mRNA poly(A) tail length increased with milk deprivation and this effect became more marked in older animals. However, in rats 5 to 9 days old, milk deprivation resulted in a detectable though not significant decrease in vasopressin mRNA poly(A) tail length.
As milk deprivation is a combination of dehydration and starvation, we investigated the effect of the latter stimulus in more mature animals. We found that starvation modifies the length of the vasopressin mRNA poly(A) tail in a manner opposite that due to dehydration.
Our data indicate a novel mode of regulation of the vasopressin mRNA, namely, poly(A) tail shortening. This system provides a model for future studies concerning the adaptive role of poly(A) tail length modulation in response to physiological stimuli.
Key wordsmilk deprivation starvation vasopressin mRNA poly(A) tail length
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