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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Changes in catecholamine content in discrete brain nuclei during the estrous cycle of the rat.

Norepinephrine (NE) and dopomine (DA) concentrations were measured in discrete brain nuclei in female rats at different stages of the 4-day estrous cycle. In the medial preoptic and paraventricular nuclei, NE levels were reduced on the days of proestrus and estrus as compared to metestrus-diestrus. NE levels sharply increased between estrus and metestrus in the lateral septal nucleus but did not vary significantly at other times. In the mesencephalic central gray catecholamine area, NE levels were elevated on metestrus as compared to all other days of the cycle. DA concentrations also varied in certain nuclei during the estrous cycle. In the lateral septum, DA levels were highest during diestrus, and in the nucleus of the tractus diagonalis, DA levels were highest on metestrus. The DA concentration of the caudate nucleus decreased between proestrus and estrus and remained low through metestrus. DA in the medial preoptic nucleus showed a similar pattern of change as did NE. In the median eminence DA levels increased significantly from proestrus afternoon to estrus, but did not vary on the other days. It is concluded that cyclic activity of catecholamines in a few discrete areas of the brain may be related to the fluctuations of the gonadotropins and ovarian hormones to influence ovulation and mating behavior.[1]


  1. Changes in catecholamine content in discrete brain nuclei during the estrous cycle of the rat. Crowley, W.R., O'Donohue, T.L., Jacobowitz, D.M. Brain Res. (1978) [Pubmed]
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