The effect of the intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection of relaxin-3 (RLX3) was evaluated using anxiety-related behavioral tests in rats. RLX3-injected animals showed normal locomotion activity in a habituated environment and declined anxiety cognition in the elevated plus maze test and the shock probe-burying test. The measurement of spontaneous locomotor activity in a novel environment also suggested that RLX3 reduced the stress response. To elucidate the regulatory mechanisms of the downstream signaling pathways underlying RLX3 activity and its relation to anxiolytic and hyperphagic behavior phenotypes, RLX3-i.c.v.-injected rat hypothalamic responses were examined using a microarray analysis. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis software listed the phenotype-relating genes and they showed characteristic expression patterns in the rat hypothalamus. When peptidome data sets for the same listed genes was analyzed using a semi-quantitative approach, the expressions of two neuropeptides were found to have increased. One of these neuropeptides, oxytocin (Oxt), exhibited increased expression in both the microarray and the peptidomic analysis, and a Western blot analysis validated the mass spectrometry results. A cross-omics data analysis is useful for predicting downstream signaling pathways, and the anxiolytic-like behavior of RLX3 may be mediated by an oxytocin signaling pathway in rats. These results suggest that RLX3 acts as an anxiolytic peptide and that the downstream pathways mediated by its receptors may be potential candidates for the treatment of anxieties in the future.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology