Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.525, No.2, 326-333, 2020
Spexin as an anxiety regulator in mouse hippocampus: Mechanisms for transcriptional regulation of spexin gene expression by corticotropin releasing factor
Spexin (SPX) acts as a neuropeptide with pleiotropic functions that can participate in anxiety regulation. Corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) is widely expressed in brain tissues and associated with depression and anxiety and addiction. With the anxious mice under chronic unpredictable stress, we found SPX mRNA expression level in the hippocampus of the brain was significantly reduced, while local CRF mRNA expression level was increased. Furthermore, CRF injection in the hippocampus could also decrease SPX mRNA expression levels in hippocampus and other brain tissues, including pituitary and hypothalamus. With the primary mouse hippocampal cell model, CRF treatment could decrease SPX mRNA expression at hippocampal cell level and this inhibitory effect was mediated only by corticotropin releasing factor receptor 2 (CRFR2) but not corticotropin releasing factor receptor 1 (CRFR1). In HEK293 cells with CRFR2 over-expression, CRF could also inhibit SPX promoter activity coupling with AC/cAMP/PKA and MEK1/2/Erk(1/2) cascades. In addition, Epac was also involved with the CRF-repressed SPX promoter activity and cross-talked with MEK1/2/Erk(1/2) pathway. CRF could inhibit SPX gene expression in mouse hippocampus via transcriptional activation at the promoter level with coupling of AC/cAMP and MEK1/2/Erk(1/2) signaling, which will be relevant to the anxiety response mediated by SPX in central nervous system. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.