Lack of ovarian steroid hormone regulation of norepinephrine transporter mRNA expression in the non-human primate locus coeruleus

W. E. Schutzer, Cynthia Bethea

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    16 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Decreases in ovarian steroids can negatively affect mood, and drugs which block the norepinephrine transporter (NET) or the serotonin transporter (SERT) alleviate depression. However, the respective contribution of the noradrenergic and serotonergic systems may vary depending upon the etiology of the depression. We previously demonstrated that E and P alter gene expression for tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) and for the serotonin reuptake transporter (SERT) in raphe neurons of the rhesus monkey. In this study, we questioned whether the noradrenergic system contributes to depression related to the reproductive function in women, using a non-human primate model of the menstrual cycle. The effect of estrogen (E) or E plus progesterone (P) on the expression of the NET gene in the locus coeruleus (LC) was examined with in situ hybridization for NET mRNA. In addition, we questioned whether the neurons of the LC contain nuclear E or P receptors (ER/PR). Hence, immunocytochemistry for ER and PR were performed on adjacent sections. Treatment groups consisted of monkeys (n = 4 per treatment) which were ovariectomized/hysterectomized (spayed), E-treated (28 days) and E + P- treated (14 days E, +14 days E + P). Expression of mRNA for NET was unchanged at any level of the LC due to steroid treatment (p > .05). Neither ER nor PR were detected in the LC of any treatment group. Therefore, E and P in a treatment paradigm which mimics the menstrual cycle do not directly regulate NET mRNA expression in the non-human primate LC. In addition, the noradrenergic neurons of the primate LC lack nuclear receptors for ovarian steroids. These data suggest that the noradrenergic system may not contribute significantly to depression related to changes in ovarian hormones.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)325-336
    Number of pages12
    JournalPsychoneuroendocrinology
    Volume22
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 1997

    Fingerprint

    Norepinephrine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
    Locus Coeruleus
    Primates
    Steroids
    Hormones
    Messenger RNA
    Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
    Depression
    Menstrual Cycle
    Tryptophan Hydroxylase
    Therapeutics
    Neurons
    Adrenergic Neurons
    Cytoplasmic and Nuclear Receptors
    Macaca mulatta
    Haplorhini
    In Situ Hybridization
    Progesterone
    Estrogens
    Immunohistochemistry

    Keywords

    • Catecholamine
    • Depression
    • Estrogen
    • Immunocytochemistry
    • In situ hybridization
    • Monkey
    • Neurotransmitter reuptake
    • Progesterone

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Endocrinology
    • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
    • Psychiatry and Mental health
    • Biological Psychiatry
    • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
    • Psychology(all)

    Cite this

    Lack of ovarian steroid hormone regulation of norepinephrine transporter mRNA expression in the non-human primate locus coeruleus. / Schutzer, W. E.; Bethea, Cynthia.

    In: Psychoneuroendocrinology, Vol. 22, No. 5, 07.1997, p. 325-336.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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