A membrane-associated progesterone-binding protein, 25-Dx, is regulated by progesterone in brain regions involved in female reproductive behaviors.
The ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) plays a central role in the regulation of the female reproductive behavior lordosis, a behavior dependent upon the sequential activation of receptors for the ovarian steroid hormones estradiol (E) and progesterone (P). These receptors function as transcription factors to alter the expression of target genes. To discover behaviorally relevant genes targeted by E and P in the VMH, we used the differential display PCR to identify messenger RNAs that are differentially expressed in the hypothalamus of ovariectomized (ovx) rats treated with E alone compared with ovariectomized rats treated with E and P. We show here that one interesting mRNA within the hypothalamus that is repressed by P after E priming encodes the protein 25-Dx, the rat homolog of the human membrane-associated P-binding protein Hpr6.6. Neurons in the brain containing the highest levels of 25-Dx are located in several nuclei of the basal forebrain, including the VMH. 25-Dx expression is also higher in the hypothalamus of female P receptor "knockout" mice than in their wild-type littermates. These findings suggest a mechanism in which the activation of nuclear P receptor represses expression of a membrane P receptor, 25-Dx, during lordosis facilitation.
Krebs, CJ; Jarvis, ED; Chan, J; Lydon, JP; Ogawa, S; Pfaff, DW
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