Neurochemistry international

The expression of TRH, its receptors and degrading enzyme is differentially modulated in the rat limbic system during training in the Morris water maze.

PMID 17101195


TRH administration induces arousal, improves cognition, and modulates glutamatergic and cholinergic transmission in hippocampal neurons. To study the possible involvement of TRH neurons in learning and memory processes, gene expression of TRH, its receptors, and pyroglutamyl peptidase (PPII), were measured in limbic regions of water-maze trained rats. Hypothalamus and amygdala showed changes related to the task but not specific to spatial learning while in hippocampus, pro-TRH and TRH-R1 mRNA levels were specifically increased in those animals trained to find a hidden platform. Variation of TRH content and mRNA levels of pro-TRH, TRH-R1, TRH-R2 and PPII are observed in conditions known to activate TRH hypophysiotropic neurons. Changes in some of these parameters could indicate the activation of TRHergic neurons and their possible involvement in some memory related process. Male Wistar rats were immersed (10 times) for 1, 3 or 5 days in a Morris water-maze containing, or not (yoked control) a platform and sacrificed 5, 30 and 60 min after last trial. TRH content and TSH serum levels were determined by radioimmunoassay; mRNA levels of pro-TRH, TRH-R1, TRH-R2, and PPII, by RT-PCR. Exclusive changes due to spatial training were observed in posterior hippocampus of rats trained for 5 days sacrificed after 60min: decreased TRH content and increased mRNA levels of pro-TRH and TRH-R1, particularly in CA3 region (measured by in situ hybridization). The hypothalamus-pituitary axis responded in both yoked and trained animals (increasing serum TSH levels and pro-TRH expression, due to swim-stress); in the amygdala of both groups, pro-TRH expression increased while diminished that of both receptors and PPII. Differential expression of these parameters suggests involvement of TRH hippocampal neurons in memory formation processes while changes in amygdala could relate to TRH anxiolytic role. The differential modulation in anterior and posterior portions of the hippocampus is discussed.