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Regulation of hippocampal parkin protein by corticosteroids

Horowitz, Judith M.CA; Pastor, Danielle M.1; Kar, Subrata1; Arinsburg, Suzanne A.1; Hallas, Brian H.1; Torres, German1


Parkin is a protein that when mutated leads to an inherited form of Parkinson's disease. Under normal conditions, this molecule has multiple functions in different cell types, including protein degradation and tumor suppression. To understand the relationship between parkin and circulating corticosteroid hormones, we studied the long-term depletion of corticosterone due to bilateral adrenalectomy in rats. We show that adrenalectomy deletes the expected expression of nuclear parkin in hippocampal neurons. Notably, the effect of adrenalectomy on parkin was prevented by corticosterone hormone replacement therapy. This finding suggests that adrenal hormones may be critical in sustaining parkin ubiquitinating activity in the rat hippocampus.

Department of Psychology, Clinical Neuroscience Laboratory, Medaille College, 18 Agassiz Circle, Buffalo, NY 14214

1Department of Neuroscience, New York College of Osteopathic Medicine of New York Institute of Technology, Old Westbury, NY, USA

CACorresponding Author:

Received 18 June 2003; accepted 16 July 2003

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.