Hypothalamic aromatase activity in young and old male rats

Charles E. Roselli, Lawrence W. Kaler, John A. Resko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We studied the capability of hypothalamic tissue from young (3-4 months) and old (22-24 months) male rats to aromatize androgens to estrogens. Aromatase activity was measured in homogenates of brain tissue by using a radiometric assay that quantifies the stereospecific production of 3H2O from [1β-3H]androstenedione as an index of estrogen formation. Despite the 40% drop in circulating testosterone (T) levels associated with aging in males, we found that hypothalamic aromatase activity was unaffected by age. This finding suggested that chronic exposure to low levels of circulating T can maintain brain aromatase activity in aged male rats. In an experiment designed to examine the acute response of hypothalamic aromatase activity to induction by T, we found a significant positive correlation between circulating T levels and hypothalamic aromatase activity in both age groups. These results demonstrate that T remains an effective regulator of hypothalamic aromatase in old male rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-125
Number of pages5
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1986


  • Aging
  • Aromatase activity
  • Hypothalamus
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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