Differential mRNA expression of genes in the porcine adrenal gland associated with psychosocial stress.

E. Murani, S. Ponsuksili, R. B. D'Eath, S. P. Turner, G. Evans, L. Tholking, E. Kurt, R. Klont, A. Foury, P. Mormede, K. Wimmers
Journal of Molecular Endocrinology. 2011-01-25; 46(3): 165-174
DOI: 10.1530/jme-10-0147

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1. J Mol Endocrinol. 2011 Apr 12;46(3):165-74. doi: 10.1530/JME-10-0147. Print 2011

Differential mRNA expression of genes in the porcine adrenal gland associated
with psychosocial stress.

Muráni E(1), Ponsuksili S, D’Eath RB, Turner SP, Evans G, Thölking L, Kurt E,
Klont R, Foury A, Mormède P, Wimmers K.

Author information:
(1)Research Unit ‘Molecular Biology’ ‘Functional Genomics’, Leibniz Institute for
Farm Animal Biology (FBN), Wilhelm-Stahl-Allee 2, D-18196 Dummerstorf, Germany.

To gain insight into the adrenal stress response, we analysed differential mRNA
expression of genes associated with psychosocial stress in the pig (Sus scrofa
domestica). Various levels of psychosocial stress were induced by mixing groups
of unfamiliar pigs with different aggressiveness. We selected two experimental
groups for comparison, each comprising eight animals, which differed
significantly in aggressive behaviour and plasma cortisol levels. To identify
differentially expressed genes, we compared the adrenal transcriptome of these
two groups of pigs, using the Affymetrix GeneChip porcine Genome Array.
Bioinformatic analysis revealed that psychosocial stress induced upregulation of
transcripts enriched for functions associated with cholesterol accumulation and
downregulation of transcripts enriched for functions associated with cell growth
and death. These responses are similar to those induced by ACTH stimulation.
Nevertheless, the majority of the differentially expressed genes were so far not
described as ACTH responsive. Some, such as GAL and GALP, may have responded to
sympathoadrenal stimulation. Several of the differentially expressed transcripts,
such as AGT, are associated with processes modulating steroidogenic response of
adrenocortical cells to ACTH. One of the most significant findings was
upregulation of LOC100039095, comprising a precursor of the microRNA miR-202,
pointing to a previously unrecognised layer of regulation of adrenal
steroidogenesis by microRNA. Our study, performed under entirely physiological
conditions, complements previous studies focusing either on a single adrenal
tissue and/or on a single stimulus, and contributes to understanding of the
fine-tuning of adrenal stress response.

DOI: 10.1530/JME-10-0147
PMID: 21266515 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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