Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.2008;105(20):7333-8.10.1073/pnas.0802760105.
NLM PMID: 18480251
Estrogens act within the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (VMN) to facilitate lordosis behavior. Estradiol treatment in vivo induces alpha(1b)-adrenoreceptor mRNA and increases the density of alpha(1B)-adrenoreceptor binding in the hypothalamus. Activation of hypothalamic alpha(1)-adrenoceptors also facilitates estrogen-dependent lordosis. To investigate the cellular mechanisms of adrenergic effects on VMN neurons, whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were carried out on hypothalamic slices from control and estradiol-treated female rats. In control slices, bath application of the alpha(1)-agonist phenylephrine (PHE; 10 microM) depolarized 10 of 25 neurons (40%), hyperpolarized three neurons (12%), and had no effect on 12 neurons (48%). The depolarization was associated with decreased membrane conductance, and this current had a reversal potential close to the K(+) equilibrium potential. The alpha(1b)-receptor antagonist chloroethylclonidine (10 microM) blocked the depolarization produced by PHE in all cells. From estradiol-treated rats, significantly more neurons in slices depolarized (71%) and fewer neurons showed no response (17%) to PHE. PHE-induced depolarizations were significantly attenuated with 4-aminopyridine (5 mM) but unaffected by tetraethylammonium chloride (20 mM) or blockers of Na(+) and Ca(2+) channels. These data indicate that alpha(1)-adrenoceptors depolarize VMN neurons by reducing membrane conductance for K(+). Estradiol amplifies alpha(1b)-adrenergic signaling by increasing the proportion of VMN neurons that respond to stimulation of alpha(1b)-adrenergic receptors, which is expected in turn to promote lordosis.
Title and Abstract from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
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Last MEDLINE®/PubMed® update: 1st of December 2015