Estrogen receptor immunoreactivity within subregions of the rat forebrain: Neuronal distribution and association with perikarya containing choline acetyltransferase

Elliott J. Mufson, Wei Jun Cai, Syed Jaffar, Er Yun Chen, Glenn Stebbins, Timothy Sendera, Jeffrey H. Kordower

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations

Abstract

Administration of the neuroactive steroid hormone estrogen has been shown to effect cholinergic basal forebrain neuronal function. Antibodies directed against the estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) revealed dark (type 1) and light (type 2) nuclear positive neurons within the islands of Calleja, endopiriform nucleus, lateral septum, subfields of the cholinergic basal forebrain, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, striohypothalamic region, medial preoptic region, periventricular, ventromedial, arcuate and tuberal mammillary nuclei of the hypothalamus, reuniens and anterior medial thalamic nuclei, amygdaloid complex, piriform cortex and subfornical organ. In contrast, only a few scattered ERα labeled neurons were found in cortex and hippocampus. ERα stained cell bodies were not seen in the striatum. Counts of ERα labeled neurons in intact female rats revealed significantly more type 2 neurons within the basal forebrain subfields. Quantitation of ERα immunoreactive neurons revealed a significant decrease in the relative number of type 1 neurons within the medial septum (MS), horizontal limb of the diagonal band (HDB) and substantia innominata/nucleus basalis (SI/NB) following ovariectomy. Quantitation following choline acetyltransferease (ChAT) immunohistochemistry revealed a significant decrease in the number of ChAT positive neurons within the MS, HDB and SI/NB, but not VDB following ovariectomy. Following ovx, the percentage of double labeled cholinergic basal forebrain neurons also declined significantly within the MS, VDB, HDB and SI/NB. These observations suggest that estrogen effects a subpopulation of cholinergic basal forebrain neurons and may provide insight into the biologic actions of this steroid in Alzheimer's disease. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-274
Number of pages22
JournalBrain Research
Volume849
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 4 1999
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Basal forebrain
  • Cholinergic
  • Gonadal
  • Ovariectomy
  • Steroids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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