Effects of gender and stress on the regulation of steroid receptor coactivator-1 expression in the rat brain and pituitary

J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2001 Nov;78(5):401-7. doi: 10.1016/s0960-0760(01)00123-6.


Steroid/thyroid actions in the brain are exerted through their receptors which belong to the nuclear receptor superfamily. Transcriptional transactivation mediated by these receptors depends on recruited co-activators, among which steroid receptor co-activators (SRCs) seem to be restricted to the nuclear receptor family. By using Northern and Western blot analysis we have estimated the mRNA and protein levels, respectively, of SRC-1 in the brain and pituitary of male and female rats, under physiological conditions and following restraint stress. Under basal conditions, SRC-1 is expressed at higher levels in the hippocampus and the pituitary of male, compared to female rats. Acute stress results in decreased, compared to the control, SRC-1 levels in the hypothalamus of both sexes, in the pituitary and frontal cortex of male rats, and in increased SRC-1 levels in the hippocampus of female rats. The observed changes at the mRNA level are supported by analogous changes at the protein level. The apparent regulation of SRC-1 gene expression in the nervous system by the endocrine status of the animal, adds another level of complexity in the mechanism controlling steroid hormone actions. Furthermore, the variability in SRC-1 expression within the brain provides a means to explain the cell-specificity of steroid hormone actions in this tissue.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Histone Acetyltransferases
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism
  • Male
  • Nuclear Receptor Coactivator 1
  • Pituitary Gland / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Steroid / metabolism*
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Stress, Physiological / genetics
  • Stress, Physiological / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Steroid
  • Transcription Factors
  • Histone Acetyltransferases
  • Nuclear Receptor Coactivator 1