The glucocorticoid (GR) and the mineralocorticoid (MR) receptor mediate corticosteroid actions in the mammalian brain. Here, we report the sequence and distribution of both receptor subtype mRNAs in the central nervous system of the tree shrew Tupaia belangeri, a non-rodent mammal, phylogenetically located between insectivores and primates. The specific glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptor cDNAs were cloned, employing polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based methods. The GR cDNA and MR cDNA encode the 776-amino acid (aa) and 977-aa receptor, respectively. Comparisons of both GR and MR with corresponding cDNA-sequences of other species revealed the highest homology to the human equivalents (GR: 90%, MR: 89% nucleotide sequence identity of the coding regions). The localization of GR and MR mRNA in tree shrew brain was investigated by in situ hybridization using 35S-labeled riboprobes. The GR mRNA is widely distributed throughout all observed brain areas, with high signal intensities in the dentate gyrus, piriform cortex, cerebellum, anterior pituitary, subfornical organ and pineal gland. Whereas, moderate expression of GR mRNA was noted in region CA1 of the hippocampus, region CA3 displayed only low signal intensity. MR mRNA hybridization is mainly restricted to the strongly labeled hippocampal formation, but in contrast to the localization pattern found in rat, higher signal intensities are detected in field CA1 than in CA3. These data indicate that both GR and MR mRNAs are highly expressed in tree shrew brain with a species-specific expression pattern.
Copyright 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.