Induction of c-fos mRNA in the brain and anterior pituitary gland by a novel environment

R. J. Handa, K. M. Nunley, M. R. Bollnow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


To determine the cell groups which are activated by novelty stress, we examined the induction of c-fos mRNA in brain tissues following introduction of male rats to a novel open field. Male Fischer 344 rats were placed in a brightly lit open field and allowed to roam free for 20 min. Control animals were sacrificed upon removal from their home cage. Northern blot analysis revealed a 2.2 kb hybridization signal which increased in density following novelty. In situ hybridization analysis showed that c-fos mRNA was induced in a specific pattern consistent with the behavior. The regions of induction included the medial prefrontal and orbital cortex, cingulate and parietal cortex, hippocampal CA1 and CA3 pyramidal cell regions, dorsal and ventral anterior thalamic n. and paraventricular n. of the hypothalamus. C-fos mRNA also increased in the anterior pituitary gland and this increase correlated with the secretion of ACTH. These data demonstrate the brain areas undergoing genomic activation following complex behavior paradigms such as introduction to a novel environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1079-1082
Number of pages4
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1993


  • c-fos mRNA
  • hippocampus
  • immediate early genes
  • medial prefrontal cortex
  • novelty
  • open field
  • paraventricualr n.
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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