We have previously reported that the repeated electroacupuncture (EA) stimulation significantly increased the concentrations of circulating estradiol and restored the depressed function of the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovary axis (HPOA) in ovariectomized (OVX) rats. We hypothesize that extragonadal aromatization in specific brain areas might be responsible for these changes. Thus, various assays, including radiometric assay, Western blot, and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), were employed to determine the aromatization in the hypothalamus of rats that received both OVX and electroacupuncture (OVX + EA). The results showed that EA significantly increased the aromatase activity as well as the expressions of its mRNA and protein (P < 0.05) in the OVX rats. These results suggest that EA enhances brain aromatization, which might contribute to influence the function of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons and promote the hypofunction of the HPOA in the ovariectomized rats.
- Extragonadal aromatization
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone
- Ovariectomized rat
ASJC Scopus subject areas