Transcriptional Regulation of the Oxytocin Receptor Gene

  • Tracy L. Bale
  • Daniel M. Dorsa
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 449)


Oxytocin receptors (OTR) are abundantly expressed in the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) in the rat brain. While expression of these receptors is estrogen-dependent, OTRs present in the central nucleus of the amygdala do not appear to be. We have isolated an OTR gene from a rat genomic library and analyzed its promoter region for response elements. Several regulatory elements of interest were identified, including a cAMP response element (CRE), a serum response element (SRE), several activator protein-1 elements (AP-1) in addition to a palindromic estrogen response element (ERE). In transfection assays, PKC and PKA activation by phorbol ester and forskolin treatment optimally enhanced transcription of the OTR gene. These results were further confirmed by Western blot analyses showing induction of endogenous OTRs in MCF7 cells with similar treatments.


MCF7 Cell Nerve Growth Factor Phorbol Ester Estrogen Response Element Oxytocin Receptor 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tracy L. Bale
    • 1
  • Daniel M. Dorsa
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Pharmacology and Psychiatry, Program in NeurobiologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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