Editing of the serotonin 2C receptor pre-mRNA: Effects of the Morris Water Maze.

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Base-Sequence, Brain, Cerebellum, Cerebral-Cortex, Gene-Expression-Profiling, Hippocampus, Humans, Male, Maze-Learning, Mice-Inbred-C57BL, Mice-Transgenic, Motor-Activity, Protein-Isoforms, RNA-Editing, RNA-Precursors, RNA-Messenger, Receptor-Serotonin-5-HT2C, Swimming

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Gene 2007 Apr; 391(1-2):186-97.


The pre-mRNA encoding the serotonin 2C receptor, HTR2C (official mouse gene symbol, Htr2c), is subject to adenosine deamination that produces inosine at five sites within the coding region. Combinations of this site-specific A-to-I editing can produce 32 different mRNA sequences encoding 24 different protein isoforms with differing biochemical and pharmacological properties. Studies in humans have reported abnormalities in patterns of HTR2C editing in psychiatric disorders, and studies in rodents show altered patterns of editing in response to drug treatments and stressful situations. To further explore the biological significance of editing of the Htr2c mRNA and its regulation, we have examined patterns of Htr2c editing in C57BL/6J mice after exposure to the hidden platform version of the Morris Water Maze, a test of spatial learning that, in mice, is also associated with stress. In brains of both swimming controls and mice trained to find the platform, subtle time dependent changes in editing patterns are seen as soon as 1 h after a probe trial and typically last less than 24 h. Changes in whole brain with cerebellum removed differ from those seen in isolated hippocampus and cortex. Unexpectedly, in hippocampi from subsets of mice, abnormally low levels of editing were seen that were not correlated with behavior or with editing levels in cortex. These data implicate responses to spatial learning and stress, in addition to stochastic processes, in the generation of subtle changes in editing patterns of Htr2c.