The role of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in senescence was studied in rats of increasing age. Statistically significant changes in the number of GRs from rat liver were detected, whereas the affinity for the ligand triamcinolone acetonide (TA) did not change with increasing age, and was in the range of 1-2 nM. In all cases the number of receptors was lower in rats treated with hormone in vivo relative to untreated animals. In addition, we have found changes in GR activation, as measured by the binding to DNA cellulose in the mentioned age groups. Furthermore, expression of the glucocorticoid hormone (GH)-inducible gene, tyrosine amino transferase (TAT) also showed age-related alterations. We conclude that receptor function shows oscillatory changes during ageing. In addition, response to GH generally declines towards the older age. This specific periodicity in functional characteristics of the GR may reconcile conflicting results about the receptor number and properties during the ageing process, and marks particular age at which individual organism shows the highest or the lowest sensitivity to the actions of GH. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Inc.
- Glucocorticoid Receptor