Estrogen-induced efflux of endogenous catecholamines from the hypothalamus in vitro

Steven M. Paul, Julius Axelrod, Juan M. Saavedra, Phil Skolnick

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Short-term organ cultures of the intact hypothalamus were used to study the effects of various estrogenic compounds on catecholamine release. Estradiol-17ß (0.1-20 μM) produced a concentration-dependent efflux of norepinephrine and dopamine while its biologically inactive enantiomer, estradiol-17α, was ineffective at concentrations up to 20 μM. Diethylstilbestrol, a potent non-steroidal estrogen, was as effective as estradiol-17ß in inducing catecholamine efflux. In contrast, weakly or non-estrogenic steroids such as estrone, estriol, and corticosterone were without effect. The time course of the estrogen-induced efflux of hypothalamic catecholamines was similar to that previously reported for the estrogen-induced accumulation of hypothalamic cAMP, providing further evidence for the involvement of catecholamines in this effect. These results suggest that estrogen may facilitate the release of catecholamines within the hypothalamus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-505
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Dec 14 1979


  • catecholamines
  • estrogen
  • hypothalamus
  • release in vitro


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