Brain research. Molecular brain research

Changes in tyrosine hydroxylase mRNA levels in medullary A1 and A2 neurons and locus coeruleus following castration and estrogen replacement in rats.

PMID 1350654


Temporal changes in tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) mRNA levels in medullary A1 and A2 neurons and locus coeruleus (LC) cells were studied 6, 12 and 24 h following orchidectomy in rats. Brains from intact controls and sham castrated rats also were evaluated at these same time periods. In situ hybridization histochemistry and quantitative image analysis techniques were used to quantitate levels of cytoplasmic TH mRNA. Neither the time of day nor the stress of sham castration affected TH mRNA levels in A1, A2 and LC neurons. In contrast, 6 h following castration, TH mRNA levels in A1 neurons had declined significantly. Thereafter, there was a linear increase in A1 message levels such that, by 24 h, TH mRNA values were significantly higher than those obtained in intact controls. Placement of Silastic estrogen capsules immediately after castration prevented the 6 h decline in A1 message levels. At 12 h, TH mRNA levels in A1 neurons were significantly higher in estrogen-treated rats compared to those of the castrate or intact control groups. By 24 h, message levels in A1 neurons of steroid-treated rats were comparable to the intact control. Neither castration nor estrogen treatment altered TH mRNA levels in A2 neurons. TH mRNA levels in LC neurons increased significantly 6 h after castration and estrogen produced a further significant increase in message levels. Six hours later (12 h), TH mRNA values were still higher than controls but, in the estrogen-treated group, these levels had declined to those observed in the 12 h castrate group.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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