Hormonal influences on morphology and neuropeptide gene expression in the infundibular nucleus of post-menopausal women

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Abstract

Neuronal hypertrophy occurs in a subpopulation of neurons in the infundibular nucleus of post-menopausal women. The hypertrophied neurons contain NKB, SP and estrogen receptor gene transcripts. Although associated with reproductive aging, postmenopausal neuronal hypertrophy is not a sign of central nervous system degeneration. Quite the opposite, because the hypertrophy is accompanied by marked increases in tachykinin gene expression, reflecting increased neuronal activity. We have proposed that infundibular neurons containing NKB, SP and estrogen receptor mRNAs participate in the hypothalamic circuitry regulating estrogen negative feedback on gonadotropin release in the human. In addition, there is evidence to suggest that the hypertrophied tachykinin neurons may be involved in the initiation of menopausal flushes. Because menopause affects a well characterized system, and has consistent and substantial changes in hormone levels, we have had the rare opportunity to correlate changes in hormone secretion with structural and neurochemical changes in the human hypothalamus. We suspect that future studies of the hypothalami of post-menopausal women will continue to be a fruitful avenue for investigating neuroendocrine regulation in the human.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-236
Number of pages16
JournalProgress in Brain Research
Volume93
StatePublished - 1992

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Arcuate Nucleus of Hypothalamus
Neuropeptides
Hypertrophy
Gene Expression
Neurons
Tachykinins
Estrogen Receptors
Hypothalamus
Hormones
Menopause
Gonadotropins
Estrogens
Central Nervous System
Messenger RNA
Genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

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title = "Hormonal influences on morphology and neuropeptide gene expression in the infundibular nucleus of post-menopausal women",
abstract = "Neuronal hypertrophy occurs in a subpopulation of neurons in the infundibular nucleus of post-menopausal women. The hypertrophied neurons contain NKB, SP and estrogen receptor gene transcripts. Although associated with reproductive aging, postmenopausal neuronal hypertrophy is not a sign of central nervous system degeneration. Quite the opposite, because the hypertrophy is accompanied by marked increases in tachykinin gene expression, reflecting increased neuronal activity. We have proposed that infundibular neurons containing NKB, SP and estrogen receptor mRNAs participate in the hypothalamic circuitry regulating estrogen negative feedback on gonadotropin release in the human. In addition, there is evidence to suggest that the hypertrophied tachykinin neurons may be involved in the initiation of menopausal flushes. Because menopause affects a well characterized system, and has consistent and substantial changes in hormone levels, we have had the rare opportunity to correlate changes in hormone secretion with structural and neurochemical changes in the human hypothalamus. We suspect that future studies of the hypothalami of post-menopausal women will continue to be a fruitful avenue for investigating neuroendocrine regulation in the human.",
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AU - Rance, Naomi E

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N2 - Neuronal hypertrophy occurs in a subpopulation of neurons in the infundibular nucleus of post-menopausal women. The hypertrophied neurons contain NKB, SP and estrogen receptor gene transcripts. Although associated with reproductive aging, postmenopausal neuronal hypertrophy is not a sign of central nervous system degeneration. Quite the opposite, because the hypertrophy is accompanied by marked increases in tachykinin gene expression, reflecting increased neuronal activity. We have proposed that infundibular neurons containing NKB, SP and estrogen receptor mRNAs participate in the hypothalamic circuitry regulating estrogen negative feedback on gonadotropin release in the human. In addition, there is evidence to suggest that the hypertrophied tachykinin neurons may be involved in the initiation of menopausal flushes. Because menopause affects a well characterized system, and has consistent and substantial changes in hormone levels, we have had the rare opportunity to correlate changes in hormone secretion with structural and neurochemical changes in the human hypothalamus. We suspect that future studies of the hypothalami of post-menopausal women will continue to be a fruitful avenue for investigating neuroendocrine regulation in the human.

AB - Neuronal hypertrophy occurs in a subpopulation of neurons in the infundibular nucleus of post-menopausal women. The hypertrophied neurons contain NKB, SP and estrogen receptor gene transcripts. Although associated with reproductive aging, postmenopausal neuronal hypertrophy is not a sign of central nervous system degeneration. Quite the opposite, because the hypertrophy is accompanied by marked increases in tachykinin gene expression, reflecting increased neuronal activity. We have proposed that infundibular neurons containing NKB, SP and estrogen receptor mRNAs participate in the hypothalamic circuitry regulating estrogen negative feedback on gonadotropin release in the human. In addition, there is evidence to suggest that the hypertrophied tachykinin neurons may be involved in the initiation of menopausal flushes. Because menopause affects a well characterized system, and has consistent and substantial changes in hormone levels, we have had the rare opportunity to correlate changes in hormone secretion with structural and neurochemical changes in the human hypothalamus. We suspect that future studies of the hypothalami of post-menopausal women will continue to be a fruitful avenue for investigating neuroendocrine regulation in the human.

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