Decreased expression of mineralocorticoid receptor mRNA and its splice variants in postmortem brain regions of patients with major depressive disorder

Melanie D. Klok*, Simone R. Alt, Alicia J.M. Irurzun Lafitte, Jonathan D. Turner, Egbert A.J.F. Lakke, Inge Huitinga, Claude P. Muller, Frans G. Zitman, E. Ronald de Kloet, Roel H. DeRijk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Appropriate signaling in the brain by the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) is critical in regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, emotional arousal and cognitive performance. To date, few data exist on MR (and GR) expression in the brain of patients suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD).With the help of quantitative PCR we assessed MR and GR mRNA expression, including the splice variants MRα and MRβ, in tissue samples from the hippocampus, amygdala, inferior frontal gyrus, cingulate gyrus and nucleus accumbens. Expression levels were compared between tissue samples from six MDD patients and six non-depressed subjects.Relative to total GR, total MR mRNA expression was higher in hippocampus and lower in the amygdala, inferior frontal gyrus and nucleus accumbens. Both MRα and MRβ could be detected in all brain regions that were analyzed, although MRβ expression was low. Significantly lower expression levels (30-50%) were detected for MR or GR in hippocampal, inferior frontal gyrus and cingulate gyrus tissue from MDD patients (p < .05), while no differences were found in the amygdala or nucleus accumbens.The data show that both MRα and MRβ mRNA are expressed throughout the human limbic brain with highest expressions in the hippocampus. A decreased expression of corticosteroid receptors in specific brain regions of MDD patients could underlie HPA hyperactivity, mood and cognitive disturbances often observed in patients suffering from stress-related psychopathologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-878
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Volume45
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

Keywords

  • Brain
  • MRNA expression
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Mineralocorticoid receptor
  • Splice variants

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Decreased expression of mineralocorticoid receptor mRNA and its splice variants in postmortem brain regions of patients with major depressive disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this