A gene-environment study of cytoglobin in the human and rat hippocampus
Hundahl, Christian Ansgar
Müller, Heidi Kaastrup
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Background: Cytoglobin (Cygb) was discovered a decade ago as the fourth vertebrate heme-globin. The function of Cygb is still unknown, but accumulating evidence from in vitro studies point to a putative role in scavenging of reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide metabolism and in vivo studies have shown Cygb to be up regulated by hypoxic stress. This study addresses three main questions related to Cygb expression in the hippocampus: 1) Is the rat hippocampus a valid neuroanatomical model for the human hippocampus; 2) What is the degree of co-expression of Cygb and neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) in the rat hippocampus; 3) The effect of chronic restraint stress (CRS) on Cygb and nNOS expression. Methods: Immunohistochemistry was used to compare Cygb expression in the human and rat hippocampi as well as Cygb and nNOS co-expression in the rat hippocampus. Transcription and translation of Cygb and nNOS were investigated using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (real-time qPCR) and Western blotting on hippocampi from Flinders (FSL/ FRL) rats exposed to CRS. Principal Findings: Cygb expression pattern in the human and rat hippocampus was found to be similar. A high degree of Cygb and nNOS co-expression was observed in the rat hippocampus. The protein levels of nNOS and Cygb were significantly up-regulated in FSL animals in the dorsal hippocampus. In the ventral hippocampus Cygb protein levels were significantly up-regulated in the FSL compared to the FRL, following CRS. Significance: The rodent hippocampus can be used to probe questions related to Cygb protein localization in human hippocampus. The high degree of Cygb and nNOS co-expression gives support for Cygb involvement in nitric oxide metabolism. CRS induced Cygb and nNOS expression indicating that Cygb expression is stress responsive. Cygb and nNOS may be important in physiological response to stress.
- Faculty of Health Sciences