Acetylcholine, acting on presynaptic nicotinic receptors (nAChRs), modulates the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. The rat dorsal raphe nucleus (DR) and the locus coeruleus (LC) receive cholinergic input and express the α7nAChR. In previous reports, we demonstrated that estradiol (E) administration stimulates DR serotonergic and LC noradrenergic function in the macaque. In addition, it has been reported that E induces the expression of the α7nAChR in rats. We questioned whether E increased the expression of the α7nAChR in the macaque DR and LC. We utilized double immunostaining to study the effect of a simulated preovulatory surge of E on the expression of the α7nAChR in the DR and the LC and to determine whether α7nAChR colocalizes with serotonin and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in macaques. There was no difference in the number of α7nAChR-positive neurons between ovariectomized (OVX) controls and OVX animals treated with a silastic capsule containing E (Ecap). However, supplemental infusion of E for 5-30 hours to Ecap animals (Ecap + inf) significantly increased the number of α7nAChR- positive neurons in DR and LC. In addition, supplemental E infusion significantly increased the number of neurons in which α7nAChR colocalized with serotonin and TH. These results constitute an important antecedent for study of the effects of nicotine and ovarian steroid hormones in the physiological functions regulated by the DR and the LC in women.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Journal of Comparative Neurology|
|State||Published - Jul 20 2006|
- Nicotinic receptors
- Steroid hormones
ASJC Scopus subject areas