Repeated corticosterone injections in adult mice alter stress hormonal receptor expression in the cerebellum and motor coordination without affecting spatial learning

Abstract : Receptors for glucocorticoid (GR) and corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) are largely found in brain sensorimotor structures, particularly in cerebellum, underlining a potential role of stress hormones in the regulation of motor function. Since CRH is involved in neuroplasticity, known for its trophic effect on synapses, we investigated how manipulations in corticosterone serum levels can modulate the CRH system in the cerebellum and affect motor coordination. Corticosterone at doses of either 15 or 30 mg/kg was injected in mice and the status of hormonal expression evaluated in cerebellum, hippocampus, and hypothalamus in undisturbed housing conditions or after different behavioral tests. Under both conditions, metabolic activity in numerous brain regions involved in motor functions and emotion was measured by means of cytochrome oxidase (COX) activity labeling. After six consecutive days of corticos-terone administration, CRH-R1 transcription was downregulated in hypothalamic and cerebellar regions and hypometabolic changes were observed in mice treated with the higher dose for several limbic and sensorimotor circuitries, notably basal ganglia, deep cerebellar nuclei, and red nucleus. Corticosterone did not modify motor activity, anxiety, and spatial orientation, but decreased latencies before falling from the rotorod and prevented mice from reaching targets in the coat-hanger test. In addition, COX activities were similar to control mice except in ventromedial thalamus and dorsal neostriatum, possibly * Corresponding author at: Laboratoire «Stress, Immunité, Pathogènes» (EA7300), Faculté de Médecine, Bâtiment A/B, indicating that physical activity protected brain energy metabolism against the stress hormone. The present findings showed that the CRH/CRH-R1 system might play a role in mediating the effects of stress on cerebellar function, affecting especially motor learning tasks.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - 6:31:13 PM
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Guillaume Harlé, Robert Lalonde, Coralie Fonte, Armelle Ropars, Jean-Pol Frippiat, et al.. Repeated corticosterone injections in adult mice alter stress hormonal receptor expression in the cerebellum and motor coordination without affecting spatial learning. Behavioural Brain Research, Elsevier, 2017, 326, pp.121 - 131. ⟨10.1016/j.bbr.2017.02.035⟩. ⟨hal-01903874⟩

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