alexa Expression of the arginine vasopressin gene in response to salt loading in oxytocin gene knockout mice.


Journal of Clinical & Experimental Neuroimmunology

Author(s): Ozaki Y, Nomura M, Saito J, Luedke CE, Muglia LJ

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Accumulating evidence suggests that both oxytocin and arginine vasopressin (AVP) are vital components in the regulation of body fluid balance. However, the physiological role of oxytocin and possible cooperative interactions between oxytocin and AVP in sodium balance remain obscure, even though recent studies using oxytocin knockout (OTKO) mice suggested that oxytocin may contribute to the regulation of salt appetite. In the present study, we examined the effects of salt loading (drinking 2% NaCl for 5 days) on the expression of the AVP gene in the paraventricular (PVN) and supraoptic nuclei (SON) of wild-type, OTKO and heterozygous littermates using in situ hybridization histochemistry. In addition, the effects of salt loading on the expression of the oxytocin gene were also examined in wild-type and heterozygous mice. Under the non salt-loaded condition, the levels of AVP mRNA in the PVN and SON of OTKO mice were significantly decreased compared to those in wild-type mice. Nevertheless, the up-regulation of the expression of the AVP gene in response to salt loading was preserved in OTKO mice. The degree of the up-regulation in OTKO mice tended to be greater compared to those in wild-type mice, suggesting compensatory up-regulation of the expression of the AVP gene in OTKO mice after salt loading. The basal levels of oxytocin mRNA in the PVN and SON of heterozygous mice were significantly lower than those in wild-type mice. Salt loading caused an increase of oxytocin mRNA levels in the PVN and SON of both wild-type and heterozygous mice. The ratios of increase of oxytocin mRNA levels were very similar between wild-type and heterozygous mice, suggesting that the single remaining oxytocin gene in heterozygous mice responds normally to an osmotic cue. Finally, salt loading tended to increase the serum concentration of sodium regardless of genotype, and there were no genotype differences in both the control and salt-loaded groups. These results suggest ways in which oxytocin may play a cooperative role together with AVP in the regulation of sodium balance

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This article was published in Journal of Neuroendocrinology and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Neuroimmunology

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