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Neurosci Res. 2012 Feb;72(2):148-54. doi: 10.1016/j.neures.2011.10.007. Epub 2011 Oct 25.

Response of ERβ and aromatase expression in the monkey hippocampal formation to ovariectomy and menopause.

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Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University, Aichi 484-8506, Japan.


Changes in the expression of estrogen-related substances in monkeys' brains at the menopausal transition, when estrogen deficit starts to occur, have not yet been examined thoroughly. In the present study, we immunohistochemically investigated the expression levels of estrogen receptor beta (ERβ) and aromatase (local estrogen synthesizing enzyme) in the hippocampal formation of premenopausal, menopausal, and ovariectomized premenopausal monkeys. In all monkeys tested, ERβ immunoreactivity was observed in interneurons located in the subiculum and the Ammon's horn, and most of these ERβ-immunoreactive neurons coexpressed a GABAergic neuron marker, parvalbumin. In the menopausal monkeys who exhibited a decline in estrogen concentration, hippocampal ERβ was highly upregulated, while aromatase expression was not markedly changed. By contrast, aromatase in the ovariectomized monkeys was significantly upregulated, while ERβ expression was not changed. In the brains of ovariectomized and menopausal monkeys, depletion of ovary-derived estrogen brought about different reactions which may be attributed to the senescence of brain aging.

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