Channelpedia

PubMed 19220484


Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kv2.1



Title: Progesterone modulation of alpha5 nAChR subunits influences anxiety-related behavior during estrus cycle.

Authors: D Gangitano, R Salas, Y Teng, E Pérez, M De Biasi

Journal, date & volume: Genes Brain Behav., 2009 Jun , 8, 398-406

PubMed link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19220484


Abstract
Smokers often report an anxiolytic effect of cigarettes. In addition, stress-related disorders such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress syndrome and depression are often associated with chronic nicotine use. To study the role of the alpha5 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit in anxiety-related responses, control and alpha5 subunit null mice (alpha5(-/-)) were subjected to the open field activity (OFA), light-dark box (LDB) and elevated plus maze (EPM) tests. In the OFA and LDB, alpha5(-/-) behaved like wild-type controls. In the EPM, female alpha5(-/-) mice displayed an anxiolytic-like phenotype, while male alpha5(-/-) mice were undistinguishable from littermate controls. We studied the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis by measuring plasma corticosterone and hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing factor. Consistent with an anxiolytic-like phenotype, female alpha5(-/-) mice displayed lower basal corticosterone levels. To test whether gonadal steroids regulate the expression of alpha5, we treated cultured NTera 2 cells with progesterone and found that alpha5 protein levels were upregulated. In addition, brain levels of alpha5 mRNA increased upon progesterone injection into ovariectomized wild-type females. Finally, we tested anxiety levels in the EPM during the estrous cycle. The estrus phase (when progesterone levels are low) is anxiolytic-like in wild-type mice, but no cycle-dependent fluctuations in anxiety levels were found in alpha5(-/-) females. Thus, alpha5-containing neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors may be mediators of anxiogenic responses, and progesterone-dependent modulation of alpha5 expression may contribute to fluctuations in anxiety levels during the ovarian cycle.