Distribution and expression of CRF receptor 1 and 2 mRNAs in the CRF over-expressing mouse brain

Aniko Korosi, Jan G. Veening, Tamás Kozicz, Marloes Henckens, Jos Dederen, Lucianne Groenink, Jan Van Der Gugten, Berend Olivier, Eric W. Roubos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) acts through CRF 1 and CRF 2 receptors (CRF1, CRF2). To test the hypothesis that CRF controls the expression of these receptors in a brain site- and receptor-type specific manner, we studied CRF1 mRNA and CRF2 mRNA expressions in mice with central CRF over-expression (CRF-OE) and using in situ hybridization. CRF1 and CRF2 mRNAs appear to be differentially distributed across the brain. The brain structures expressing the receptors are the same in wild-type (WT) and in CRF-OE mice. We therefore conclude that chronically elevated CRF does not induce or inhibit expression of these receptors in structures that normally do not or do, respectively, show these receptors. However, from counting cell body profiles positive for CRF1 and CRF2 mRNAs, clear differences appear in receptor expression between CRF-OE and WT mice, in a brain-structure-specific fashion. Whereas some structures do not differ, CRF-OE mice exhibit remarkably lower numbers of CRF1 mRNA-positive profiles in the subthalamic nucleus (-38.6%), globus pallidus (-31.5%), dorsal part of the lateral septum (-23.5%), substantia nigra (-22,8%), primary somatosensory cortex (-18.9%) and principal sensory nucleus V (-18.4%). Furthermore, a higher number of CRF2 mRNA-positive profiles are observed in the dorsal raphe nucleus (+32.2%). These data strongly indicate that central CRF over-expression in the mouse brain is associated with down-regulation of CRF1 mRNA and up-regulation of CRF2 mRNA in a brain-structure-specific way. On the basis of these results and the fact that CRF-OE mice reveal a number of physiological and autonomic symptoms that may be related to chronic stress, we suggest that CRF1 in the basal nuclei may be involved in disturbed information processing and that CRF2 in the dorsal raphe nucleus may play a role in mediating stress-induced release of serotonin by CRF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-54
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 9 2006


  • CRF over-expressing mouse
  • Corticotropin-releasing factor receptor 1 and 2
  • In situ hybridization
  • Receptor plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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