Enhanced striatal β1-Adrenergic receptor expression following hormone loss in adulthood is programmed by both early sexual differentiation and puberty: A study of humans and rats

John Meitzen, Adam N. Perry, Christel Westenbroek, Valerie L. Hedges, Jill B. Becker, Paul G. Mermelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

After reproductive senescence or gonadectomy, changes occur in neural gene expression, ultimately altering brain function. The endocrine mechanisms underlying these changes in gene expression beyond immediate hormone loss are poorly understood. To investigate this,wemeasured changes in gene expression the dorsal striatum, where 17β-estradiol modulates catecholamine signaling. In human caudate, quantitative PCR determined a significant elevation in1-Adrenergic receptor (β1AR) expression in menopausal females when compared with similarly aged males. No differences were detected in 2-Adrenergic and D1- and D2-dopamine receptor expression. Consistent with humans, adult ovariectomized female rats exhibited a similar increase in β1AR expression when compared with gonadectomized males. No sex difference in β1AR expression was detected between intact adults, prepubertal juveniles, or adults gonadectomized before puberty, indicating the necessity of pubertal development and adult ovariectomy. Additionally, increased β1AR expression in adult ovariectomized females was not observed if animals were masculinized/ defeminized with testosterone injections as neonates. To generate a model system for assessing functional impact, increased β1AR expression was induced in female-derived cultured striatal neurons via exposure to and then removal of hormone-containing serum. Increased β1AR action on cAMP formation, cAMP response element-binding protein phosphorylation and gene expression was observed. This up-regulation of β1AR action was eliminated with 17β-estradiol addition to the media, directly implicating this hormone as a regulator of β1AR expression. Beyond having implications for the known sex differences in striatal function and pathologies, these data collectively demonstrate that critical periods early in life and at puberty program adult gene responsiveness to hormone loss after gonadectomy and potentially reproductive senescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1820-1831
Number of pages12
JournalEndocrinology
Volume154
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2013

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