Steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1), an orphan receptor of the nuclear hormone receptor family, binds to the AAGGTCA motif in the promoter elements of several diverse target genes, including some that mediate steroidogenesis and sexual differentiation. In addition, SF-1 is expressed in embryonic forebrain, suggesting that it plays a role in neural development. This study was undertaken to study the distribution and regulation of SF-1 mRNA expression in the rat brain. SF-1 mRNA levels were measured in tissue dissections by ribonuclease protection assay. A 452 nt 32P-labeled cRNA probe, complementary to the putative ligand-binding domain of the rat SF-1 mRNA, was synthesized from the rat SF-1 cDNA inserted into pBluescript II KS, using a Sty 1 fragment and T3 polymerase. The probe protected a single 390 nt transcript in the medial basal hypothalamus (MBH) and peripheral steroidogenic tissues of the male rat. The size of this protected band corresponded to that of the protected sense RNA standard (HindIII fragment of the SF-1 cDNA transcribed with T7 polymerase). No SF-1 mRNA was detected in the preoptic area, amygdala or cingulate cortex. The levels of SF-1 mRNA in MBH were not affected by gonadectomy or androgen treatment, nor was there a sex difference in its expression in adults. In situ hybridization histochemistry revealed that SF-1 was localized to the ventromedial nucleus of the adult hypothalamus. The levels of SF-1 mRNA were high on gestational day 18 after which they fell by ~30% and remained constant throughout gestation, the first week of neonatal life, and into adulthood. These results demonstrate that the gene encoding SF-1 is expressed in a discrete region of the rat hypothalamus and appears to be developmentally regulated, but not affected by gonadal hormones in adults.
- Cytochrome P450
- Steroidogenic factor-1
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience