Estrogen-induced neurochemical and ...



Title Estrogen-induced neurochemical and electrophysiological changes in the parabrachial nucleus of the male rat
Author(s) Tarek M. Saleh, B. J. Connell, T. McQuaid, Alastair E. Cribb
Journal Brain Research
Date 2003
Volume 990
Issue 1-2
Start page 58
End page 65
Abstract Estrogen has previously been shown to significantly change sympathetic and parasympathetic system output via an action within the central nuclei responsible for regulating autonomic tone. These estrogen-induced changes were observed within 30 min of systemic administration and could be blocked by the direct microinjection of the estrogen receptor antagonist, ICI 182780, into the parabrachial nucleus (PBN) of the pons. In the present investigation, we sought to determine the possible mechanism(s) by which estrogen produced these rapid changes in autonomic tone by determining if estrogen modulates neuronal excitability within the PBN. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were anaesthetized with Inactin (sodium thiobutabarbitol, 100 mg/kg) and instrumented for the intravenous injection of estrogen and placed in a stereotaxic frame for the insertion of a microdialysis probe or glass recording electrode into the PBN. In the first experiment, we sought to determine the local concentration of estrogen in the cerebrospinal fluid in the PBN following systemic injection of estrogen. In the second experiment, we sought to determine the functional significance of systemic estrogen injection on neuronal activity and amino acid neurotransmitter levels in the PBN. Systemic estrogen injection resulted in a significant increase in local estrogen concentration in the PBN which corresponded to a decrease in neuronal excitability and extracellular glutamate levels while increasing GABA levels in the PBN. These results suggest that estrogen decreases neuronal excitability in the PBN by modulating synaptic transmission via an increased release of GABA and a decreased release of glutamate.

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