Estrogen modulation of the α-1-adrenergic response of hypothalamic neurons

T. P. Condon, O. K. Ronnekleiv, M. J. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Intracellular recordings were made from 106 arcuate and cell-poor zone (ARC-CPZ) neurons in sagittal slices prepared from intact, ovariectomized and ovariectomized plus estradiol-benzoate-treated female guinea pigs, and the effects of norepinephrine (NE), the α1-agonist methoxamine (MX) and the β-agonist isoproterenol were tested. Either bath application or pressure application of 2-100 μM NE reversibly hyperpolarized and inhibited the spontaneous firing of the majority (57%, n = 60) of ARC-CPZ neurons. Isoproterenol also inhibited the majority (75%) of the ARC-CPZ neurons which it was tested on. In addition, 2-100 μM NE depolarized and/or increased the spontaneous activity of 20% (n = 21) of ARC-CPZ neurons, and some of these (n = 8) exhibited bursting activity. Similar doses of MX mimicked the NE excitation (depolarization and/or increased firing) in 48% (n = 14) of the ARC-CPZ neurons tested. Based on the serum levels of 17β-estradiol, the three groups of females were divided into high (>30 pg/ml) and low (<30 pg/ml) estrogen groups, and it was found that endogenous or exogenous estrogen significantly increased the number of neurons responding to MX (from 29 to 75%). Using intracellular labeling with procion yellow and immunocytochemistry, we have identified that luteinizing-hormone-releasing hormone neurons respond to NE. Therefore, it is suggested that one mechanism for an increase in the noradrenergic excitatory drive at the time of the preovulatory surge of luteinizing hormone in the mammal is an increase in the neuronal response to α1-adrenergic stimulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-58
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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