Recent studies support plasticity in adult brain white matter structure and myelination in response to various experiential factors. One possible contributor to this plasticity may be activity-dependent modulation of serum- and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase 1 (Sgk1) expression in oligodendrocytes. We examined whether Sgk1 expression in adult rat brain white matter is increased by acute stress-induced elevations in endogenous corticosterone and whether it fluctuates with diurnal variations in corticosterone. We observed rapid increases (within 30 min) in Sgk1 mRNA in the corpus callosum in response to acute stress, as well as large increases at the beginning of the rat's active period (the time of peak corticosterone secretion). These increases were absent in adrenalectomized rats. Corticosterone treatment of adrenalectomized rats also rapidly increased corpus callosum Sgk1 mRNA. The majority of Sgk1 mRNA in corpus callosum was co-localized with myelin basic protein mRNA, suggesting that mature oligodendrocytes respond dynamically to acute stress and circadian rhythms. The regulation of Sgk1 expression by acute stress and time of day was selective for white matter, with limited alteration of Sgk1 expression by these factors in hippocampus and somatosensory cortex. These results indicate a unique sensitivity of oligodendrocyte Sgk1 expression to activity-dependent fluctuations in corticosterone hormone secretion, and raises the prospect that hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysregulation or glucocorticoid pharmacotherapy may compromise the normal activity-dependent interactions between oligodendrocytes and neurons.
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Hinds, Laura R; Chun, Lauren E; Woodruff, Elizabeth R; Christensen, Jennifer A; Hartsock, Matthew J; and Spencer, Robert L, "Dynamic glucocorticoid-dependent regulation of Sgk1 expression in oligodendrocytes of adult male rat brain by acute stress and time of day." (2017). Psychology and Neuroscience Faculty Contributions. 18.