G protein-coupled receptor 101 mRNA expression in supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei in rat hypothalamus is altered by pregnancy and lactation

Brain Res. 2008 Feb 8;1193:76-83. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2007.11.048. Epub 2007 Dec 4.


In a previous study performed in mouse models of energetic challenge, there was evidence to suggest that the orphan G protein-coupled receptor GPCR101 may have a role in the regulation of energy balance. To further investigate this possibility, we utilised in situ hybridisation to determine the effect of energetic challenges experienced by pregnant and lactating rats on GPCR101 mRNA expression. In the rat hypothalamus, GPCR101 mRNA expression was detected in a number of hypothalamic nuclei. During pregnancy and lactation, GPCR101 mRNA level remained unchanged in most nuclei, but had increased in the supraoptic nucleus by the end of pregnancy and remained elevated during lactation. GPCR101 mRNA expression showed a similar pattern of expression in the rostral ventromedial parvocellular subdivision of the paraventricular nucleus. A common feature of these two nuclei is the production of the peptide oxytocin. Dual in situ hybridisation revealed GPCR101 and oxytocin mRNA co-expression in neurons of these two nuclei. In the supraoptic nucleus, in situ hybridisation revealed that the temporal regulation of oxytocin and GPCR101 mRNA expression were similar. In the paraventricular nucleus, although temporal changes in oxytocin mRNA expression were similar to GPCR101, the spatial expression of the two mRNA species was different; in contrast to GPCR101, oxytocin mRNA expression changed in both parvo- and magnocellular neurons during lactation. In conclusion, increased GPCR101 mRNA expression in supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei from late pregnancy to late lactation may reflect the functional importance of this receptor in the regulation of neurons of these nuclei during this period.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Lactation / metabolism*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Oxytocin / genetics
  • Oxytocin / metabolism
  • Paraventricular Hypothalamic Nucleus / physiology*
  • Pregnancy / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism
  • Supraoptic Nucleus / physiology*
  • Time Factors


  • Gpr101 protein, rat
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Oxytocin