Dissociation between rat hippocampal CA1 and dentate gyrus cells in their response to corticosterone: effects on calcium channel protein and current

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Endocrinology, Volume 150, Number 10, p.4615-4624 (2009)


1945-7170 (Electronic)00

DOI Name (links to online publication)



Animals; Blotting; Western; Calcium Channels; L-Type/*metabolism; Corticosterone/*pharmacology; Dentate Gyrus/*metabolism; Electrophysiology; In Situ Hybridization; Male; Rats; Rats; Wistar


Stress and corticosterone affect, via glucocorticoid receptors, cellular physiology in the rodent brain. A well-documented example concerns corticosteroid effects on high-voltage activated (L type) calcium currents in the hippocampal CA1 area. We tested whether corticosterone also affects calcium currents in another hippocampal area that highly expresses glucocorticoid receptors, i.e. the dentate gyrus (DG). Remarkably, corticosterone (100 nm, given for 20 min, 1-4.5 hr before recording) did not change high-voltage activated calcium currents in the DG, whereas currents in the CA1 area of the same rats were increased. Follow-up studies revealed that no apparent dissociation between the two areas was observed with respect to transcriptional regulation of calcium channel subunits; thus, in both areas corticosterone increased mRNA levels of the calcium channel-beta4 but not the (alpha) Ca(v)1.2 subunit. At the protein level, however, beta4 and Ca(v)1.2 levels were significantly up-regulated by corticosterone in the CA1 but not the DG area. These data suggest that stress-induced elevations in the level of corticosterone result in a regionally differentiated physiological response that is not simply determined by the glucocorticoid receptor distribution and that the observed regional differentiation may be caused by a gene involved in the translational machinery or in mechanisms regulating mRNA or protein stability.