By means of indirect immunoperoxidase procedures using the biotin- avidin method in combination with monoclonal antibodies to the human estrogen receptor it has been possible to map out distinct populations of nerve cells possessing nuclear estrogen immunoreactivity in rat brain. High densities of strongly estrogen immunoreactive nerve cells were especially observed in the medial preoptic area and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis but also in the magnocellular part of the arcuate nucleus, the ventral premammillary nuclei and in the area between the medial and lateral hypothalamus including the lateral component of the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus. Similar results were obtained in the male and female adult brain. Following castration of the male and female adult rat, the nuclear estrogen immunoreactivity did not change its location but the degree of immunoreactivity was increased. Administration of 50 μg/kg of estrogen benzoate in the castrated animals induced a marked disappearence of the estrogen immunoreactivity in the nerve cells in all regions analyzed. The results give further evidence for the existence of a selective population of estrogen receptor containing neurons in the female and male brain of adult animals and that the estrogen free receptor is associated with the nucleus. Upon activation the nuclear estrogen receptors appear to loose this immunoreactivity probably due to a change in the conformation of the receptor protein.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology