A membrane-associated progesterone-binding protein, 25-Dx, is regulated by progesterone in brain regions involved in female reproductive behaviors.

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The ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) plays a central role in the regulation of the female reproductive behavior lordosis, a behavior dependent upon the sequential activation of receptors for the ovarian steroid hormones estradiol (E) and progesterone (P). These receptors function as transcription factors to alter the expression of target genes. To discover behaviorally relevant genes targeted by E and P in the VMH, we used the differential display PCR to identify messenger RNAs that are differentially expressed in the hypothalamus of ovariectomized (ovx) rats treated with E alone compared with ovariectomized rats treated with E and P. We show here that one interesting mRNA within the hypothalamus that is repressed by P after E priming encodes the protein 25-Dx, the rat homolog of the human membrane-associated P-binding protein Hpr6.6. Neurons in the brain containing the highest levels of 25-Dx are located in several nuclei of the basal forebrain, including the VMH. 25-Dx expression is also higher in the hypothalamus of female P receptor "knockout" mice than in their wild-type littermates. These findings suggest a mechanism in which the activation of nuclear P receptor represses expression of a membrane P receptor, 25-Dx, during lordosis facilitation.





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Krebs, CJ, ED Jarvis, J Chan, JP Lydon, S Ogawa and DW Pfaff (2000). A membrane-associated progesterone-binding protein, 25-Dx, is regulated by progesterone in brain regions involved in female reproductive behaviors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 97(23). pp. 12816–12821. 10.1073/pnas.97.23.12816 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/11216.

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Erich David Jarvis

Adjunct Professor in the Deptartment of Neurobiology

Dr. Jarvis' laboratory studies the neurobiology of vocal communication. Emphasis is placed on the molecular pathways involved in the perception and production of learned vocalizations. They use an integrative approach that combines behavioral, anatomical, electrophysiological and molecular biological techniques. The main animal model used is songbirds, one of the few vertebrate groups that evolved the ability to learn vocalizations. The generality of the discoveries is tested in other vocal learning orders, such as parrots and hummingbirds, as well as non-vocal learners, such as pigeons and non-human primates. Some of the questions require performing behavior/molecular biology experiments in freely ranging animals, such as hummingbirds in tropical forest of Brazil. Recent results show that in songbirds, parrots and hummingbirds, perception and production of song are accompanied by anatomically distinct patterns of gene expression. All three groups were found to exhibit vocally-activated gene expression in exactly 7 forebrain nuclei that are very similar to each other. These structures for vocal learning and production are thought to have evolved independently within the past 70 million years, since they are absent from interrelated non-vocal learning orders. One structure, Area X of the basal ganglia's striatum in songbirds, shows large differential gene activation depending on the social context in which the bird sings. These differences may reflect a semantic content of song, perhaps similar to human language.

The overall goal of the research is to advance knowledge of the neural mechanisms for vocal learning and basic mechanisms of brain function. These goals are further achieved by combined collaborative efforts with the laboratories of Drs. Mooney and Nowicki at Duke University, who study respectively behavior and electrophysiological aspects of songbird vocal communication.

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