Glucocorticoid regulation of preproglucagon transcription and RNA stability during stress.
Stress elicits a synchronized response of the endocrine, sympathetic, and central nervous systems to preserve homeostasis and well-being. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), a primary posttranslational product of the preproglucagon (PPG) gene, activates both physical and psychological stress responses. The current study examined mechanisms regulating expression of PPG gene products in the hindbrain. Our results indicate that PPG mRNA decreases rapidly after exposure to acute stressors of multiple modalities. Reduced mRNA levels are accompanied by reduced GLP-1 immunoreactivity in the paraventricular nucleus of hypothalamus, suggesting release at PPG terminals. Stress-induced decrements in PPG mRNA were attenuated in adrenalectomized-corticosterone-replaced rats, suggesting that mRNA down-regulation is due at least in part to glucocorticoid secretion. In contrast, acute stress increased levels of PPG heteronuclear RNA (hnRNA) in a glucocorticoid-dependent manner, suggesting that decreases in PPG mRNA are due to increased degradation rather than reduced transcription. Glucocorticoid administration to unstressed rats is sufficient to cause decrements in PPG mRNA and increments in PPG hnRNA. These findings suggest that glucocorticoids deplete the pool of transcribed PPG mRNA and concurrently stimulate PPG gene transcription, with the latter allowing a mechanism for replenishment of PPG mRNA after stress cessation. The combination of rapid PPG mRNA depletion and initiation of PPG transcription within 30 min is consistent with a rapid action of glucocorticoids on GLP-1 bioavailability, resulting in a transient reduction in the capacity for neuropeptidergic excitation of stress responses.
Zhang, R; Packard, BA; Tauchi, M; D'Alessio, DA; Herman, JP
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