Convulsant-induced increase in transcription factor messenger RNAs in rat brain

D. W. Saffen, A. J. Cole, P. F. Worley, B. A. Christy, K. Ryder, J. M. Baraban

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349 Scopus citations


Administration of the convulsants pentylenetetrazole (Metrazole) or picrotoxin to rats caused a dramatic increase in mRNAs of four putative transcription factor genes, zif/268, c-jun, jun-B, and c-fos, in neurons of the hippocampus and dentate gyrus, as well as other areas of the cerebral cortex, including pyriform cortex and cingulate cortex. The increase in these mRNAs was rapid and transient: amounts peaked within 1 hr and returned to baseline within 2 hr. These results extend the observation made by Morgan et al. [Morgan, J.I., Cohen, D.R., Hempstead, J.L. & Curran, T. (1987) Science 237, 192-197] that c-fos mRNA and protein are induced in rat brain after seizures. We hypothesize that the increase of these putative transcription factor mRNAs in the brain is part of a programmed genomic response of neurons to intense stimulation, which is analogous to the genomic response of nonneuronal cells to growth factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7795-7799
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number20
StatePublished - 1988

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