Estrogen impairs glucocorticoid dependent negative feedback on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis via estrogen receptor alpha within the hypothalamus

M. J. Weiser, Robert J Handa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

154 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Numerous studies have established a link between individuals with affective disorders and a dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, most notably characterized by a reduced sensitivity to glucocorticoid negative (-) feedback. Furthermore there is a sex difference in the etiology of mood disorders with incidence in females being two to three times that of males, an association that may be a result of the influence of estradiol (E2) on HPA axis function. In these studies, we have examined the effect of E2 on glucocorticoid-mediated HPA axis (-) feedback during both the diurnal peak and the stress-induced rise in corticosterone (CORT). Young adult female Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were ovariectomized (OVX) and 1 week later treated subcutaneous (s.c.) with oil or estradiol benzoate (EB) for 4 days. On the 4th day of treatment, animals were injected with a single dose of dexamethasone (DEX), or vehicle. EB treatment significantly increased the evening elevation in CORT and the stress-induced rise in CORT. In contrast, DEX treatment reduced the diurnal and stress induced rise in CORT and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), and this reduction was not apparent following co-treatment with EB. To determine a potential site of E2's action, female SD rats were OVX and 1 week later, wax pellets containing E2, the estrogen receptor beta (ERβ) agonist diarylpropionitrile (DPN), or the estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) agonist propylpyrazoletriol (PPT), was implanted bilaterally and dorsal to the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN). Seven days later, animals were injected s.c. with a single dose of DEX, or vehicle to test for glucocorticoid-dependent (-) feedback. Results show that E2 and PPT increased, while DPN decreased the diurnal peak and stress-induced CORT and ACTH levels as compared to controls. Furthermore, E2 and PPT impaired the ability of DEX to inhibit both the diurnal and the stress-induced rise in CORT and ACTH, whereas DPN had no effect. Neuronal activation was measured by c-fos mRNA expression within the PVN following restraint. E2 and PPT increased c-fos mRNA, and impaired the normal DEX suppression of neuronal activation in the PVN. Taken together, these data indicate that estradiol causes a dysregulation of HPA axis (-) feedback as evidenced by the inability of DEX to suppress diurnal and stress-induced CORT and ACTH secretion. Additionally, the ability of E2 to inhibit glucocorticoid (-) feedback occurs specifically via ERα acting at the level of the PVN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)883-895
Number of pages13
JournalNeuroscience
Volume159
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 17 2009
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Estrogen Receptor alpha
Corticosterone
Glucocorticoids
Hypothalamus
Estrogens
Dexamethasone
Paraventricular Hypothalamic Nucleus
Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
Estrogen Receptor beta
Mood Disorders
Sprague Dawley Rats
Estradiol
Messenger RNA
Waxes
Therapeutics
Sex Characteristics
Young Adult
Oils
Incidence
diarylpropionitrile

Keywords

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • estrogen receptor
  • glucocorticoids
  • paraventricular nucleus
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

@article{d9de58c306564c8bbd7bbc86c26820f0,
title = "Estrogen impairs glucocorticoid dependent negative feedback on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis via estrogen receptor alpha within the hypothalamus",
abstract = "Numerous studies have established a link between individuals with affective disorders and a dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, most notably characterized by a reduced sensitivity to glucocorticoid negative (-) feedback. Furthermore there is a sex difference in the etiology of mood disorders with incidence in females being two to three times that of males, an association that may be a result of the influence of estradiol (E2) on HPA axis function. In these studies, we have examined the effect of E2 on glucocorticoid-mediated HPA axis (-) feedback during both the diurnal peak and the stress-induced rise in corticosterone (CORT). Young adult female Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were ovariectomized (OVX) and 1 week later treated subcutaneous (s.c.) with oil or estradiol benzoate (EB) for 4 days. On the 4th day of treatment, animals were injected with a single dose of dexamethasone (DEX), or vehicle. EB treatment significantly increased the evening elevation in CORT and the stress-induced rise in CORT. In contrast, DEX treatment reduced the diurnal and stress induced rise in CORT and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), and this reduction was not apparent following co-treatment with EB. To determine a potential site of E2's action, female SD rats were OVX and 1 week later, wax pellets containing E2, the estrogen receptor beta (ERβ) agonist diarylpropionitrile (DPN), or the estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) agonist propylpyrazoletriol (PPT), was implanted bilaterally and dorsal to the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN). Seven days later, animals were injected s.c. with a single dose of DEX, or vehicle to test for glucocorticoid-dependent (-) feedback. Results show that E2 and PPT increased, while DPN decreased the diurnal peak and stress-induced CORT and ACTH levels as compared to controls. Furthermore, E2 and PPT impaired the ability of DEX to inhibit both the diurnal and the stress-induced rise in CORT and ACTH, whereas DPN had no effect. Neuronal activation was measured by c-fos mRNA expression within the PVN following restraint. E2 and PPT increased c-fos mRNA, and impaired the normal DEX suppression of neuronal activation in the PVN. Taken together, these data indicate that estradiol causes a dysregulation of HPA axis (-) feedback as evidenced by the inability of DEX to suppress diurnal and stress-induced CORT and ACTH secretion. Additionally, the ability of E2 to inhibit glucocorticoid (-) feedback occurs specifically via ERα acting at the level of the PVN.",
keywords = "anxiety, depression, estrogen receptor, glucocorticoids, paraventricular nucleus, stress",
author = "Weiser, {M. J.} and Handa, {Robert J}",
year = "2009",
month = "3",
day = "17",
doi = "10.1016/j.neuroscience.2008.12.058",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "159",
pages = "883--895",
journal = "Neuroscience",
issn = "0306-4522",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Estrogen impairs glucocorticoid dependent negative feedback on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis via estrogen receptor alpha within the hypothalamus

AU - Weiser, M. J.

AU - Handa, Robert J

PY - 2009/3/17

Y1 - 2009/3/17

N2 - Numerous studies have established a link between individuals with affective disorders and a dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, most notably characterized by a reduced sensitivity to glucocorticoid negative (-) feedback. Furthermore there is a sex difference in the etiology of mood disorders with incidence in females being two to three times that of males, an association that may be a result of the influence of estradiol (E2) on HPA axis function. In these studies, we have examined the effect of E2 on glucocorticoid-mediated HPA axis (-) feedback during both the diurnal peak and the stress-induced rise in corticosterone (CORT). Young adult female Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were ovariectomized (OVX) and 1 week later treated subcutaneous (s.c.) with oil or estradiol benzoate (EB) for 4 days. On the 4th day of treatment, animals were injected with a single dose of dexamethasone (DEX), or vehicle. EB treatment significantly increased the evening elevation in CORT and the stress-induced rise in CORT. In contrast, DEX treatment reduced the diurnal and stress induced rise in CORT and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), and this reduction was not apparent following co-treatment with EB. To determine a potential site of E2's action, female SD rats were OVX and 1 week later, wax pellets containing E2, the estrogen receptor beta (ERβ) agonist diarylpropionitrile (DPN), or the estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) agonist propylpyrazoletriol (PPT), was implanted bilaterally and dorsal to the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN). Seven days later, animals were injected s.c. with a single dose of DEX, or vehicle to test for glucocorticoid-dependent (-) feedback. Results show that E2 and PPT increased, while DPN decreased the diurnal peak and stress-induced CORT and ACTH levels as compared to controls. Furthermore, E2 and PPT impaired the ability of DEX to inhibit both the diurnal and the stress-induced rise in CORT and ACTH, whereas DPN had no effect. Neuronal activation was measured by c-fos mRNA expression within the PVN following restraint. E2 and PPT increased c-fos mRNA, and impaired the normal DEX suppression of neuronal activation in the PVN. Taken together, these data indicate that estradiol causes a dysregulation of HPA axis (-) feedback as evidenced by the inability of DEX to suppress diurnal and stress-induced CORT and ACTH secretion. Additionally, the ability of E2 to inhibit glucocorticoid (-) feedback occurs specifically via ERα acting at the level of the PVN.

AB - Numerous studies have established a link between individuals with affective disorders and a dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, most notably characterized by a reduced sensitivity to glucocorticoid negative (-) feedback. Furthermore there is a sex difference in the etiology of mood disorders with incidence in females being two to three times that of males, an association that may be a result of the influence of estradiol (E2) on HPA axis function. In these studies, we have examined the effect of E2 on glucocorticoid-mediated HPA axis (-) feedback during both the diurnal peak and the stress-induced rise in corticosterone (CORT). Young adult female Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were ovariectomized (OVX) and 1 week later treated subcutaneous (s.c.) with oil or estradiol benzoate (EB) for 4 days. On the 4th day of treatment, animals were injected with a single dose of dexamethasone (DEX), or vehicle. EB treatment significantly increased the evening elevation in CORT and the stress-induced rise in CORT. In contrast, DEX treatment reduced the diurnal and stress induced rise in CORT and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), and this reduction was not apparent following co-treatment with EB. To determine a potential site of E2's action, female SD rats were OVX and 1 week later, wax pellets containing E2, the estrogen receptor beta (ERβ) agonist diarylpropionitrile (DPN), or the estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) agonist propylpyrazoletriol (PPT), was implanted bilaterally and dorsal to the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN). Seven days later, animals were injected s.c. with a single dose of DEX, or vehicle to test for glucocorticoid-dependent (-) feedback. Results show that E2 and PPT increased, while DPN decreased the diurnal peak and stress-induced CORT and ACTH levels as compared to controls. Furthermore, E2 and PPT impaired the ability of DEX to inhibit both the diurnal and the stress-induced rise in CORT and ACTH, whereas DPN had no effect. Neuronal activation was measured by c-fos mRNA expression within the PVN following restraint. E2 and PPT increased c-fos mRNA, and impaired the normal DEX suppression of neuronal activation in the PVN. Taken together, these data indicate that estradiol causes a dysregulation of HPA axis (-) feedback as evidenced by the inability of DEX to suppress diurnal and stress-induced CORT and ACTH secretion. Additionally, the ability of E2 to inhibit glucocorticoid (-) feedback occurs specifically via ERα acting at the level of the PVN.

KW - anxiety

KW - depression

KW - estrogen receptor

KW - glucocorticoids

KW - paraventricular nucleus

KW - stress

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=60849087658&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=60849087658&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2008.12.058

DO - 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2008.12.058

M3 - Article

C2 - 19166915

AN - SCOPUS:60849087658

VL - 159

SP - 883

EP - 895

JO - Neuroscience

JF - Neuroscience

SN - 0306-4522

IS - 2

ER -