Sex Differences in the Subcellular Distribution of Corticotropin-Releasing Factor Receptor 1 in the Rat Hippocampus following Chronic Immobilization Stress.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Corticotropin-releasing factor receptors (CRFR1) contribute to stress-induced adaptations in hippocampal structure and function that can affect learning and memory processes. Our prior studies showed that female rats with elevated estrogens compared to males have more plasmalemmal CRFR1 in CA1 pyramidal cells, suggesting a greater sensitivity to stress. Here, we examined the distribution of hippocampal CRFR1 following chronic immobilization stress (CIS) in female and male rats using immuno-electron microscopy. Without stress, total CRFR1 dendritic levels were higher in females in CA1 and in males in the hilus; moreover, plasmalemmal CRFR1 was elevated in pyramidal cell dendrites in CA1 in females and in CA3 in males. Following CIS, near-plasmalemmal CRFR1 increased in CA1 pyramidal cell dendrites in males but not to levels of control or CIS females. In CA3 and the hilus, CIS decreased cytoplasmic and total CRFR1 in dendrites in males only. These results suggest that in naive rats, CRF could induce a greater activation of CA1 pyramidal cells in females than males. Moreover, after CIS, which leads to even greater sex differences in CRFR1 by trafficking it to different subcellular compartments, CRF could enhance activation of CA1 pyramidal cells in males but to a lesser extent than either unstressed or CIS females. Additionally, CA3 pyramidal cells and inhibitory interneurons in males have heightened sensitivity to CRF, regardless of stress state. These sex differences in CRFR1 distribution and trafficking in the hippocampus may contribute to reported sex differences in hippocampus-dependent learning processes in baseline conditions and following chronic stress.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • McAlinn, HR; Reich, B; Contoreggi, NH; Kamakura, RP; Dyer, AG; McEwen, BS; Waters, EM; Milner, TA

Published Date

  • July 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 383 /

Start / End Page

  • 98 - 113

PubMed ID

  • 29753863

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5994383

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-7544

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0306-4522

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2018.05.007


  • eng