Characterization of aromatase expression in the adult male and female mouse brain. I. Coexistence with oestrogen receptors alpha and beta, and androgen receptors

Davor Stanic, Sydney Dubois, Hui Kheng Chua, Bruce John Tonge, Nicole Joan Rinehart, Malcolm Kenneth Horne, Wah Chin Boon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aromatase catalyses the last step of oestrogen synthesis. There is growing evidence that local oestrogens influence many brain regions to modulate brain development and behaviour. We examined, by immunohistochemistry, the expression of aromatase in the adult male and female mouse brain, using mice in which enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) is transcribed following the physiological activation of the Cyp19A1 gene. EGFP-immunoreactive processes were distributed in many brain regions, including the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, olfactory tubercle, medial amygdaloid nucleus and medial preoptic area, with the densest distributions of EGFP-positive cell bodies in the bed nucleus and medial amygdala. Differences between male and female mice were apparent, with the density of EGFP-positive cell bodies and fibres being lower in some brain regions of female mice, including the bed nucleus and medial amygdala. EGFP-positive cell bodies in the bed nucleus, lateral septum, medial amygdala and hypothalamus co-expressed oestrogen receptor (ER) a and ?, or the androgen receptor (AR), although single-labelled EGFP-positive cells were also identified. Additionally, single-labelled ERa-, ER?- or AR-positive cell bodies often appeared to be surrounded by EGFP-immunoreactive nerve fibres/terminals. The widespread distribution of EGFP-positive cell bodies and fibres suggests that aromatase signalling is common in the mouse brain, and that locally synthesised brain oestrogens could mediate biological effects by activating pre- and post-synaptic oestrogen a and ? receptors, and androgen receptors. The higher number of EGFP-positive cells in male mice may indicate that the autocrine and paracrine effects of oestrogens are more prominent in males than females. ? 2014 Stanic et al.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere90451
Number of pages22
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Cite this