Vasoactive intestinal peptide, pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide, and noradrenaline induce the transcription factors CCAAT/enhancer binding protein (C/EBP)-β and C/EBPδ in mouse cortical astrocytes: Involvement in cAMP-regulated glycogen metabolism

Jean René Cardinaux, Pierre J. Magistretti*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


We have described previously a transcription-dependent induction of glycogen resynthesis by the vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) or noradrenaline (NA) in astrocytes, which is mediated by cAMP. Because it has been postulated that the cAMP-mediated regulation of energy balance in hepatocytes and adipocytes is channeled at least in part through the CCAAT/enhancer binding protein (C/EBP) family of transcription factors, we tested the hypothesis that C/EBP isoforms could be expressed in mouse cortical astrocytes and that their level of expression could be regulated by VIP, by the VIP-related neuropeptide pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP), or by NA. We report in this study that in these cells, C/EBPβ and C/EBPδ are induced by VIP, PACAP, or NA via the cAMP second-messenger pathway. Induction of C/EBPβ and -δ mRNA by VIP occurs in the presence of a protein synthesis inhibitor. Thus, c/ebpβ and c/ebpδ behave as cAMP-inducible immediate-early genes in astrocytes. Moreover, transfection of astrocytes with expression vectors selectively producing the transcriptionally active form of C/EBPβ, termed liver-enriched transcriptional activator protein, or C/EBPδ enhance the glycogen resynthesis elicited by NA, whereas an expression vector producing the transcriptionally inactive form of C/EBPβ, termed liver-enriched transcriptional inhibitory protein, reduces this resynthesis. These results support the idea that C/EBPβ and -δ regulate gene expression of energy metabolism-related enzymes in astrocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)919-929
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 1996


  • Astrocytes
  • C/EBP
  • Energy metabolism
  • Glycogen
  • Immediate-early genes
  • Noradrenaline
  • Transcription factors
  • VIP
  • cAMP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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