The glucocorticoid receptor and the mineralocorticoid receptor are hormone-dependent transcription factors. They regulate the excitability of rat hippocampus CA1 neurons in a coordinated fashion. We studied the spatial distribution of these transcription factors in nuclei of CA1 neurons by dual labeling immunocytochemistry and confocal microscopy, combined with novel image restoration and image analysis techniques. We found that both receptors are concentrated in about one thousand clusters within the nucleus. Some clusters contain either mineralocorticoid receptors or glucocorticoid receptors, but a significant number of clusters contains both receptors. These results indicate that the two receptor types are targeted to specific compartments in the nucleus. The coordinated action of the glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptor on gene expression may be established in a specific set of nuclear domains that contain both receptors.

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