Localization of estrogen receptor protein and estrogen receptor messenger RNA in peripheral autonomic and sensory neurons

R. E. Papka, B. Srinivasan, K. E. Miller, S. Hayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

103 Scopus citations

Abstract

The presence of estrogen receptor protein and estrogen receptor messenger RNA was revealed in peripheral ganglionic neurons of the rat. The pelvic parasympathetic autonomic ganglion and lumbosacral dorsal root sensory ganglia were examined for estrogen receptor-containing neurons because they have known projections to the uterus and uterine cervix. The vagal nodose ganglia were studied for estrogen receptor-containing neurons because they are suspected sources of influence on the uterus. Immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization histochemistry and retrograde tracing were utilized. Immunoreactivity for estrogen receptors was evident in the nuclei of a subpopulation of neurons in the pelvic ganglia, sixth lumbar and first sacral dorsal root ganglia and nodose ganglia. Some estrogen receptor-positive neurons also contained the retrograde tracer FluoroGold that previously had been injected into the uterus and uterine cervix. Estrogen receptor messenger RNA was also evident in a subpopulation of ganglionic neurons. These data suggest that a certain population of neurons in autonomic and sensory ganglia are capable of synthesizing estrogen receptors and these receptors can serve as binding sites for estrogen. Thus, certain aspects of the structure, function and neurochemistry of some autonomic and sensory neurons may be influenced by the sex steroid estrogen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1153-1163
Number of pages11
JournalNeuroscience
Volume79
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 6 Jun 1997

Keywords

  • Dorsal root ganglia
  • Estrogen receptors
  • Nodose ganglia
  • Pelvic ganglia
  • Sensory neurons
  • Vagus

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