By means of a monoclonal antibody against the rat liver glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in combination with the indirect immunoperoxidase technique it has been possible to demonstrate GR-immunoreactive nerve and glial cell nuclei all over the tel- and diencephalon of the male rat. Strongly GR-immunoreactive nerve cell nuclei were only present in the parvocellular part of the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus, in the anterior periventricular hypothalamic nucleus, in the ventral part of the mediobasal hypothalamus, and in the CA1 and CA2 subregion of the hippocampal formation. Within the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus a substantial overlap exists between the GR-immunoreactive area and the CRF-immunoreactive area. Medium to high densities of moderately GR-immunoreactive nerve cell nuclei were present all over the cortical hemispheres. Medium densities of moderately GR-immunoreactive nerve cells were demonstrated in many thalamic nuclei and in the central amygdaloid nucleus. After adrenalectomy the GR immunoreactivity was predominantly located in the pericaryon. Upon acute corticosterone treatment of adrenalectomized male rats, the GR immunoreactivity was again mainly demonstrated in the nerve cell nuclei indicating that corticosterone can translocate GR from the cytoplasm to the cell nuclei. It is suggested that the hypothalamic GR may be involved in the regulation of especially CRF secretion but also in the secretion of other anterior pituitary hormones such as TRH and somatostatin.
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