Author(s): Olmos G, Aguilera P, Tranque P, Naftolin F, GarciaSegura LM
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Abstract Adult cycling female rats were injected with estradiol valerate (2 mg/100 g body wt.), a treatment which has previously been shown to result in synaptic remodelling in the arcuate nucleus and constant vaginal estrus. During the 32 weeks following estrogen treatment, arcuate nucleus neuronal plasma membranes were quantitatively assessed for intramembrane particle (IMP) number and size using freeze-fracture techniques. Neuronal membranes from untreated cycling females, females injected with oil and untreated males were also studied. Untreated rats had dimorphic sexual phenotypes in membrane organization; female rats had more IMP than males, mainly due to greater numbers of small (less than 10 nm) particles. These sex differences were observed in perikarya and dendritic shafts, but not in dendritic spines. Following estrogen treatment the density of IMP in membranes from females decreased. The IMP changes were found only in neuronal perikarya and dendritic shafts, not in dendritic spines, and were mainly due to a massive decrease in the number of small (less than 10 nm) IMP which was only partially offset by an increase in the number of large (greater than or equal to 10 nm) IMP. Thus, by 32 weeks after estradiol valerate treatment, the number and size of IMP in neuronal membranes from females were not different from those seen in normal males. These results strengthen the idea that estradiol may affect the turnover of certain neuronal membrane components in sex-steroid sensitive areas of the brain.
This article was published in Brain Res
and referenced in Journal of Steroids & Hormonal Science