[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During murine hypothalamic development, different neuroendocrine cell phenotypes are generated in overlapping periods; this suggests that cell-type specific developmental programs operate to achieve complete maturation. A balance between programs that include cell proliferation, cell cycle withdrawal as well as epigenetic regulation of gene expression characterizes neurogenesis. Thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH) is a peptide that regulates energy homeostasis and autonomic responses. To better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying TRH neuron development, we performed a genome wide study of its transcriptome during fetal hypothalamic development.
In primary cultures, TRH cells constitute 2% of the total fetal hypothalamic cell population. To purify these cells, we took advantage of the fact that the segment spanning -774 to +84 bp of the Trh gene regulatory region confers specific expression of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) in the TRH cells. Transfected TRH cells were purified by fluorescence activated cell sorting, various cell preparations pooled, and their transcriptome compared to that of GFP- hypothalamic cells. TRH cells undergoing the terminal phase of differentiation, expressed genes implicated in protein biosynthesis, intracellular signaling and transcriptional control. Among the transcription-associated transcripts, we identified the transcription factors Klf4, Klf10 and Atf3, which were previously uncharacterized within the hypothalamus.
To our knowledge, this is one of the first reports identifying transcripts with a potentially important role during the development of a specific hypothalamic neuronal phenotype. This genome-scale study forms a rational foundation for identifying genes that might participate in the development and function of hypothalamic TRH neurons.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Embryonic neurogenesis is controlled by the activation of specific genetic programs. In the hypothalamus, neuronal thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) populations control important physiological process, including energy homeostasis and autonomic function; however, the genetic program leading to the TRH expression is poorly understood. Here, we show that the Klf4 gene, encoding the transcription factor Krüppel-like factor 4 (Klf4), was expressed in the rat hypothalamus during development and regulated Trh expression. In rat fetal hypothalamic cells Klf4 regulated Trh promoter activity through CACCC and GC motifs present on the Trh gene promoter. Accordingly, hypothalamic Trh expression was down-regulated at embryonic day 15 in the Klf4(-/-) mice resulting in diminished bioactive peptide levels. Although at the neonatal stage the Trh transcript levels of the Klf4(-/-) mice were normal, the reduction in peptide levels persisted. Thus, our data indicate that Klf4 plays a key role in the maturation of TRH expression in hypothalamic neurons.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) increases the levels of pre-pro-thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH) mRNA in fetal rodent hypothalamic neurons that express TrkB receptors. The present studies aimed at better understanding the role of BDNF in establishing and maintaining the TRH phenotype in hypothalamic neurons during early development. To determine where BDNF regulates the expression of pre-pro-TRH mRNA in vivo, we compared the hypothalamic distribution of pre-pro-TRH mRNA to that of TrkB mRNA. Full-length TrkB (FL-TrkB) mRNA was detected earlier in development than pre-pro-TRH mRNA in the region that gives rise to the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN). We also evaluated the effects of BDNF on the expression of pre-pro-TRH mRNA in vitro. BDNF up-regulated the levels of pre-pro-TRH mRNA in primary cell cultures obtained from the hypothalamus or the PVN of 17 days old fetuses or newborn rats. This effect was abolished by PD98059, an inhibitor of the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) 1/2 or 5. The effect of BDNF on pre-pro-TRH mRNA levels was reversible. The continuous application of BDNF led to a desensitization of the response at day 10 in vitro, an effect that correlated with a drop in the levels of FL-TrkB protein. In conclusion, BDNF enhances the expression of pre-pro-TRH mRNA in PVN neurons. This effect is reversible, decreases with time, and requires an active MEK. BDNF may contribute to the enhancement of pre-pro-TRH mRNA expression in the hypothalamic PVN during development.
Brain Research 11/2007; 1174(1):28-38. DOI:10.1016/j.brainres.2007.08.026 · 2.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hypothalamic proTRH mRNA levels are rapidly increased (at 1 h) in vivo by cold exposure or suckling, and in vitro by 8Br-cAMP or glucocorticoids. The aim of this work was to study whether these effects occurred at the transcriptional level. Hypothalamic cells transfected with rat TRH promoter (-776/+85) linked to the luciferase reporter showed increased transcription by protein kinase (PK) A and PKC activators, or by dexamethasone (dex), but co-incubation with dex and 8Br-cAMP decreased their stimulatory effect (as observed for proTRH mRNA levels). These effects were also observed in NIH-3T3-transfected cells supporting a characteristic of TRH promoter and not of hypothalamic cells. Transcriptional regulation by 8Br-cAMP was mimicked by noradrenaline which increased proTRH mRNA levels, but not in the presence of dex. PKA inhibition by H89 avoided 8Br-cAMP or noradrenaline stimulation. TRH promoter sequences, cAMP response element (CRE)-like (-101/-94 and -59/-52) and glucocorticoid response element (GRE) half-site (-210/-205), were analyzed by electrophoretic mobility shift assays with nuclear extracts from hypothalamic or neuroblastoma cultures. PKA stimulation increased binding to CRE (-101/-94) but not to CRE (-59/-52); dex or 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) increased binding to GRE, a composite site flanked by a perfect and an imperfect activator protein (AP-1) site in the complementary strand. Interference was observed in the binding of CRE or GRE with nuclear extracts from cells co-incubated for 3 h with 8Br-cAMP and dex; from cells incubated for 1 h, only the binding to GRE showed interference. Rapid cross-talk of glucocorticoids with PKA signaling pathways regulating TRH transcription constitutes another example of neuroendocrine integration.