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Brain research

Comparison of CRF-immunoreactive neurons distribution in mouse and rat brains and selective induction of Fos in rat hypothalamic CRF neurons by abdominal surgery.


PMID 21872218

Abstract

Mice and rats are widely used in stress-related behavioral studies while little is known about the distribution of the stress hormone, corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) in the mouse brain. We developed and characterized a novel rat/mouse CRF polyclonal antibody (CURE ab 200101) that was used to detect and compare the brain distributions of CRF immunoreactivity in naïve and colchicine-treated rats and mice. We also assessed whether the visceral stressor of abdominal surgery activated brain CRF neurons using double labeling of Fos/CRF in naïve rats. CRF-ir neurons were visualized in the cortex, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, central amygdala, hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN), Barrington's nucleus and dorsolateral tegmental area in naïve rats. CRF-immunoreactive (ir) neurons in the mouse brain were detected only after colchicine. The pattern shows fundamental similarity compared to the colchicine-treated rat brain, however, there were differences with a lesser distribution in both areas and density except in the lateral septum and external subnucleus of the lateral parabrachial nucleus which contained more CRF-ir neurons in mice, and CRF-ir neurons in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus were found only in mice. Abdominal surgery in naïve rats induced Fos-ir in 30% of total CRF-ir neurons in the PVN compared with control (anesthesia alone) while Fos was not co-localized with CRF in other brain nuclei. These data indicate that CRF-ir distribution in the brain displays similarity as well as distinct features in mice compared to rats that may underlie some differential stress responses. Abdominal surgery activates CRF-ir neurons selectively in the PVN of rats without colchicine treatment.

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