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Developmental Expression of Estrogen Receptor Beta in the Brain of Microtus ochrogaster

by Zito, Stephanie Danielle

Abstract (Summary)
There are two primary nuclear estrogen receptors (ER) subtypes, ? and ?. While there is a large body of research on the role of ER? in regulating social behavior and in expression within the CNS there is significantly less known about ER?. This is due in part to the fact that the existence of ER? has been known for much longer and in part to the difficulty in visualizing ER?. Primary antibodies developed for labeling ER? have had limited success in rats and mice and none have worked in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). Here for the first time we characterize the expression of ER?-immunoreactivity (IR), using immunocytochemistry, in the brains of prairie voles. ER?-IR was compared in juveniles, 21-days of age, and in adult males and females, 60 days of age. Results indicate several major findings. First, unlike ER? expression, ER? expression is not sexually dimorphic, with males and females expressing similar patterns in the brain. Second, ER? express an adult pattern by day 21 as there were no age dependent effects on distribution. Finally, ER? in the prairie vole may not be as wide spread as reported in rats and mice. High levels of ER?-IR were observed in several regions/nuclei within the medial pre-optic area, ventrolateral pre-optic nuclei and in the hypothalamus, especially the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei. The visualization of ER? in prairie voles is important as the socially monogamous prairie vole functions as a human relevant model system for studying the expression of social behavior and social deficit disorders and ER is known to play a role in the expression of social behavior. Future studies will now be able to determine the effect of treatments on the expression and/or development of ER? in this highly social species.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:The University of Akron

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:estrogen receptor beta prairie vole behavior

ISBN:

Date of Publication:06/09/2009

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