Identification of mineralocorticoid receptor target genes in the mouse hippocampus.


Brain mineralocorticoid receptors (MRs) and glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) respond to the same glucocorticoid hormones but can have differential effects on cellular function. Several lines of evidence suggest that MR-specific target genes must exist and might underlie the distinct effects of the receptors. The present study aimed to identify MR-specific target genes in the hippocampus, a brain region where MR and GR are co-localised and play a role in the stress response. Using genome-wide binding of both receptor types, we previously identified MR-specific, MR-GR overlapping and GR-specific putative target genes. We now report altered gene expression levels of such genes in the hippocampus of forebrain MR knockout (fbMRKO) mice, killed at the time of their endogenous corticosterone peak. Of those genes associated with MR-specific binding, the most robust effect was a 50% reduction in Jun dimerization protein 2 (Jdp2) mRNA levels in fbMRKO mice. Down-regulation was also observed for the MR-specific Nitric oxide synthase 1 adaptor protein (Nos1ap) and Suv3 like RNA helicase (Supv3 l1). Interestingly, the classical glucocorticoid target gene FK506 binding protein 5 (Fkbp5), which is associated with MR and GR chromatin binding, was expressed at substantially lower levels in fbMRKO mice. Subsequently, hippocampal Jdp2 was confirmed to be up-regulated in a restraint stress model, posing Jdp2 as a bona fide MR target that is also responsive in an acute stress condition. Thus, we show that MR-selective DNA binding can reveal functional regulation of genes and further identify distinct MR-specific effector pathways.

More about this publication

Journal of neuroendocrinology
  • Volume 31
  • Issue nr. 8
  • Pages e12735
  • Publication date 01-08-2019

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