A comparison of physiological and transcriptome responses to water deprivation and salt loading in the rat supraoptic nucleus

Michael P. Greenwood, Andre S. Mecawi, See Ziau Hoe, Mohd Rais Mustafa, Kory R. Johnson, Ghada A. Al-Mahmoud, Lucila L K Elias, Julian F R Paton, Jose Antunes-Rodrigues, Harold Gainer, David Murphy, Charles C T Hindmarch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Salt loading (SL) and water deprivation (WD) are experimental challenges that are often used to study the osmotic circuitry of the brain. Central to this circuit is the supraoptic nucleus (SON) of the hypothalamus, which is responsible for the biosynthesis of the hormones, arginine vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin (OXT), and their transport to terminals that reside in the posterior lobe of the pituitary. On osmotic challenge evoked by a change in blood volume or osmolality, the SON undergoes a functionrelated plasticity that creates an environment that allows for an appropriate hormone response. Here, we have described the impact of SL and WD compared with euhydrated (EU) controls in terms of drinking and eating behavior, body weight, and recorded physiological data including circulating hormone data and plasma and urine osmolality. We have also used microarrays to profile the transcriptome of the SON following SL and remined data from the SON that describes the transcriptome response to WD. From a list of 2,783 commonly regulated transcripts, we selected 20 genes for validation by qPCR. All of the 9 genes that have already been described as expressed or regulated in the SON by osmotic stimuli were confirmed in our models. Of the 11 novel genes, 5 were successfully validated while 6 were false discoveries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R559-R568
JournalAJP - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number7
Early online date28 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2014, American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.


  • Neuroendocrine
  • Salt load
  • Supraoptic nucleus
  • Transcriptome
  • Water restriction


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