Plasticity in the expression of the steroid receptor coactivator 1 in the Japanese quail brain: Effect of sex, testosterone, stress and time of the day

T. D. Charlier, G. F. Ball, J. Balthazart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Analysis of nuclear receptor action on the eukaryotic genome highlights the importance of coactivators on gene transcription. The steroid receptor coactivator-1 in particular is the focus of an intense research and physiological or behavioral studies have confirmed that it plays a major role in the modulation of steroid and thyroid receptors activity. However, little is known about the regulation of steroid receptor coactivator-1 expression the brain. The goal of this study was to determine the potential factors modulating steroid receptor coactivator-1 synthesis in Japanese quail by quantification of its mRNA with real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction and of the corresponding protein via Western blotting. Contrary to previously published results from our laboratory [Charlier TD, Lakaye B, Ball GF, Balthazart J (2002) The steroid receptor coactivator SRC-1 exhibits high expression in steroid-sensitive brain areas regulating reproductive behaviors in the quail brain. Neuroendocrinology 76:297-315], we found here that sexually mature females had a higher concentration of steroid receptor coactivator-1 in the preoptic area/hypothalamus compared with males. Steroid receptor coactivator-1 expression in the male preoptic area/hypothalamus was up-regulated by testosterone and tended to be decreased by stress. We also identified a significant correlation between the time of the day and the expression of the coactivator in the optic lobes, hippocampus, telencephalon and hindbrain but the pattern of changes in expression as a function of the time of the day varied from one brain area to another. Together, these data support the idea that steroid receptor coactivator-1 is not constitutively expressed but rather is finely regulated by steroids, stress and possibly other unidentified factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1381-1394
Number of pages14
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006



  • coregulators
  • medial preoptic nucleus
  • real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction
  • sexual behavior
  • Western blot

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this