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Differential effects of prepubertal chronic oestrogen treatment on the synthesis of noradrenaline in uterine myometrial and perivascular sympathetic nerves

Brauer, MM; Llodrá, J; Scorza, MC; Chávez, R; Burnstock, G; Thrasivoulu, C; Cowen, T; (1999) Differential effects of prepubertal chronic oestrogen treatment on the synthesis of noradrenaline in uterine myometrial and perivascular sympathetic nerves. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience , 17 (4) pp. 295-303. 10.1016/S0736-5748(99)00042-8.

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Abstract

Previous studies have shown that chronic administration of oestrogen to prepubertal rats reduces the total content of noradrenaline in the uterine horn, abolishes myometrial noradrenergic innervation and reduces noradrenaline-fluorescence intensity of intrauterine perivascular nerve fibres. The mechanisms underlying these changes are not known. In the present study we have analysed the effects of prepubertal chronic oestrogen treatment on the synthesis of noradrenaline in the rat uterine sympathetic nerves using biochemical and immunohistochemical approaches. Tyrosine hydroxylase activity was evaluated biochemically, by measuring the in vivo accumulation of dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) in the presence of a DOPA-decarboxylase inhibitor. In addition, nerve fibres were visualised immunohistochemically using antibodies against tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopamine-β-hydroxylase (DβH) and the general marker protein gene product 9.5 (PGP 9.5). After chronic oestrogen treatment, the total content of noradrenaline of the uterine horn was reduced, whereas the total content of DOPA was increased. In controls, TH-immunoreactive, DβH-immunoreactive and PGP 9.5-immunoreactive nerve fibres were distributed in both the circular and longitudinal myometrial layers and in the blood vessels of the intra-myometrial region. After chronic oestrogen treatment the only fibres recognised by the three antibodies were those associated with the blood vessels, but no myometrial-associated fibres could be recognised. These results suggest that noradrenaline synthesis is selectively reduced in myometrial-associated uterine sympathetic nerves, but is preserved in perivascular sympathetic nerves. The increased DOPA levels measured after chronic exposure to oestrogen was interpreted as the consequence of the substantial increase in size and number of blood vessels observed in the uterus of oestrogen-treated animals. A possible neurodegenerative effect of oestrogen on myometrial sympathetic fibres is discussed.

Type: Article
Title: Differential effects of prepubertal chronic oestrogen treatment on the synthesis of noradrenaline in uterine myometrial and perivascular sympathetic nerves
DOI: 10.1016/S0736-5748(99)00042-8
Additional information: Previous studies have shown that chronic administration of oestrogen to prepubertal rats reduces the total content of noradrenaline in the uterine horn, abolishes myometrial noradrenergic innervation and reduces noradrenaline-fluorescence intensity of intrauterine perivascular nerve fibres. The mechanisms underlying these changes are not known. In the present study we have analysed the effects of prepubertal chronic oestrogen treatment on the synthesis of noradrenaline in the rat uterine sympathetic nerves using biochemical and immunohistochemical approaches. Tyrosine hydroxylase activity was evaluated biochemically, by measuring the in vivo accumulation of dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) in the presence of a DOPA-decarboxylase inhibitor. In addition, nerve fibres were visualised immunohistochemically using antibodies against tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopamine-β-hydroxylase (DβH) and the general marker protein gene product 9.5 (PGP 9.5). After chronic oestrogen treatment, the total content of noradrenaline of the uterine horn was reduced, whereas the total content of DOPA was increased. In controls, TH-immunoreactive, DβH-immunoreactive and PGP 9.5-immunoreactive nerve fibres were distributed in both the circular and longitudinal myometrial layers and in the blood vessels of the intra-myometrial region. After chronic oestrogen treatment the only fibres recognised by the three antibodies were those associated with the blood vessels, but no myometrial-associated fibres could be recognised. These results suggest that noradrenaline synthesis is selectively reduced in myometrial-associated uterine sympathetic nerves, but is preserved in perivascular sympathetic nerves. The increased DOPA levels measured after chronic exposure to oestrogen was interpreted as the consequence of the substantial increase in size and number of blood vessels observed in the uterus of oestrogen-treated animals. A possible neurodegenerative effect of oestrogen on myometrial sympathetic fibres is discussed.
Keywords: uterus, oestrogen, noradrenaline, tyrosine-hydroxylase, dopamine-β-hydroxylase, protein gene product 9.5
UCL classification: UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Biosciences (Division of)
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/22220
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