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J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 1993 Dec;47(1-6):207-11.

Estrogen modulation of catecholamine synthesis and monoamine oxidase A activity in the human neuroblastoma cell line SK-ER3.

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  • 1Milano Molecular Pharmacology Laboratory, Institute of Pharmacological Sciences, Italy.


In order to assess the neuronal-like properties of a human neuroblastoma cell line obtained by stable transfection of the estrogen receptor (SK-ER3) a series of quantitative measurements of the activity of two neurotransmitter-related enzymes: tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and monamine oxidase (MAO), and of catecholamine concentrations were performed. When compared to the parental SK-N-BE cell line, the stably transfected SK-ER3 cells show a more pronounced dopaminergic phenotype. The immunoreactivity to a TH antibody is in fact increased and the ratio between dopamine and noradrenaline concentrations is elevated. Treatment with estradiol further enhances the expression of this phenotype. Interestingly, in the transfected cell line MAO-A activity is decreased and further reduced by estrogen treatment. This finding substantiated by previous reports indicates that our model system might represent an interesting tool for the study of the pharmacological treatments of estrogen-induced pathological responses of nervous cells.

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