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

An endogenous cholinergic rhythm may be involved in the circadian changes of tuberoinfundibular dopaminergic neuron activity in ovariectomized rats treated with or without estrogen.

We recently reported that a circadian change in the activities of hypothalamic tuberoinfundibular dopaminergic (TIDA) neurons exists in ovariectomized (OVX) rats treated with or without estrogen. The involvement of an endogenous cholinergic control mechanism was the focus of this study. Adult female Sprague-Dawley rats OVX for 2 weeks and treated with or without a long-acting estrogen (poly-estradiol phosphate, 0.1 mg/rat, sc) were used in the study. An intracerebroventricular cannula for drug injection was implanted into the lateral cerebroventricle of each rat 6 days before experiment. TIDA neuron activity was determined by measuring the concentrations of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine in the median eminence by HPLC plus electrochemical detection. Serum PRL levels were determined by RIA. Neither atropine nor mecamylamine, two cholinergic receptor antagonists, had any effect on TIDA neuron activity in the morning before 1200 h, when endogenous TIDA neuron activity is high. Both drugs, however, exhibited a dose-related stimulating effect on the TIDA neuron activity in the afternoon, when endogenous activity is low. The estrogen-induced afternoon PRL surge was also blocked by a single injection of atropine or mecamylamine at 1300 h. The rhythmic changes in endogenous TIDA neuron activity and their responses to atropine were also observed in OVX rats with no estrogen replacement. In conclusion, a daily change in endogenous cholinergic neuron activity may be responsible for the change in TIDA neuron activity in female rats, which is a prerequisite for the PRL surge.[1]


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