Early Environmental Regulation of Hippocampal Glucocorticoid Receptor Gene Expression: Characterization of Intracellular Mediators and Potential Genomic Target Sites

Authors

  • IAN C.G. WEAVER,

    1. McGill Program for the Study of Behavior, Genes and Environment, Douglas Hospital Research Centre, Departments of Psychiatry, and Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, H4H 1R3
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  • JOSIE DIORIO,

    1. McGill Program for the Study of Behavior, Genes and Environment, Douglas Hospital Research Centre, Departments of Psychiatry, and Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, H4H 1R3
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  • JONATHAN R. SECKL,

    1. Molecular Endocrinology Laboratory, Department of Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom EH4 2XU
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  • MOSHE SZYF,

    1. McGill Program for the Study of Behavior, Genes and Environment, Douglas Hospital Research Centre, Departments of Psychiatry, and Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, H4H 1R3
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  • MICHAEL J. MEANEY

    Corresponding author
    1. McGill Program for the Study of Behavior, Genes and Environment, Douglas Hospital Research Centre, Departments of Psychiatry, and Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, H4H 1R3
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Address for correspondence: Michael J. Meaney, Douglas Hospital Research Center, 6875 LaSalle Boulevard, Montreal (Quebec), Canada H4H 1R3. Voice: 514-761-6131 ext. 3938; fax: 514-762-3034. michael.meaney@mcgill.ca

Abstract

Abstract: Environmental conditions in early life permanently alter the development of glucocorticoid receptor gene expression in the hippocampus and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal responses to acute or chronic stress. In part, these effects can involve an activation of ascending serotonergic pathways and subsequent changes in the expression of transcription factors that might drive glucocorticoid receptor expression in the hippocampus. This paper summarizes the evidence in favor of these pathways as well as recent studies describing regulatory targets within the chromatin structure of the promoter region of the rat hippocampal glucocorticoid receptor gene.

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