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      Immobilization Stress Rapidly and Differentially Modulates BDNF and TrkB mRNA Expression in the Pituitary Gland of Adult Male Rats

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          Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a neurotrophin involved in neuronal survival and plasticity that binds to high-affinity receptors named TrkB. In the central nervous system, brain insults, including stress, induce modifications in BDNF messenger RNA (mRNA) expression. The present study attempted to determine in the adult rat pituitary, a peripheral structure relevant for the stress response: (1) whether BDNF and TrkB mRNA expression is influenced by different durations (15, 30, 60, 180 and 300 min) of single immobilization stress; (2) the expression of BDNF transcripts containing the different exons and their possible variations after stress exposure. Plasma corticotropin (ACTH) and corticosterone concentrations were strongly and significantly increased as early as 5 min after the stress stimulus. Using RNAse protection assay and in situ hybridization, a rapid increase in BDNF mRNA occurred at 15 min. This was accompanied by an increase in BDNF protein at 60 min, and by a rapid and significant decrease in TrkB mRNA expression observed at 15 and 30 min after stress application. RT-PCR analysis of BNDF transcripts showed strong basal expression of exons III and IV, whereas transcripts containing exons I and II seemed weakly expressed. After stress application, transcripts containing exons III and IV were rapidly and significantly increased at 30 min, whereas transcripts containing exons I and II remained unchanged. These results show that pituitary BDNF transcripts expression is differentially affected by immobilization stress.

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          Most cited references 9

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          Single-step method of RNA isolation by acid guanidinium thiocyanate-phenol-chloroform extraction.

          A new method of total RNA isolation by a single extraction with an acid guanidinium thiocyanate-phenol-chloroform mixture is described. The method provides a pure preparation of undegraded RNA in high yield and can be completed within 4 h. It is particularly useful for processing large numbers of samples and for isolation of RNA from minute quantities of cells or tissue samples.
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              Neurotrophins and brain insults.

              Epileptic, hypoglycaemic, ischaemic and traumatic insults to the brain induce marked changes of gene expression for the neurotrophins, nerve growth factor, brain-derived neurotrophic factor and neurotrophin-3, and their high-affinity receptors, TrkB and TrkC, in cortical and hippocampal neurones. Release of glutamate and influx of Ca2+ are the most important triggering factors. The major hypotheses for the functional effects of the insult-induced neurotrophin changes are protection against neuronal damage and stimulation of sprouting and synaptic reorganization. More insight into the regulation and role of the neurotrophins after brain insults should increase our understanding of pathophysiological mechanisms in, for example, epileptogenesis and cell death, and could lead to new therapeutic strategies.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                September 2001
                30 August 2001
                : 74
                : 3
                : 148-159
                Laboratoire de Plasticité Cérébrale, UMR 5102 CNRS, Université de Montpellier 2, Montpellier, France
                54681 Neuroendocrinology 2001;74:148–159
                © 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 7, References: 48, Pages: 12
                Stress, Corticotropin and Neuroimmune Interactions


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