Hippocampus plays an important role in cognition, neuroendocrine function and sexual behaviour. Changes of hippocampal neuropeptide and neurotransmitter concentrations are associated to behavioural changes occurring throughout reproductive life. The present study focused the attention on the presence of a neurosteroid, 5α-pregnan-3α-ol-20-one (termed allopregnanolone) in hippocampus. In particular, hippocampal allopregnanolone concentration in male and female prepubertal rats and in female rats throughout estrous cycle were evaluated. Hippocampal extracts were eluted on high pressure liquid chromatography and allopregnanolone concentration was measured by radioimmunoassay. Prepubertal male and female rats (15 days old) showed highest values which significantly decreased with advancing age (25 and 60 days) (p<0.01); the lowest hippocampal concentration of allopregnanolone was found in adult rats. Female rats on proestrus morning and afternoon showed an hippocampal allopregnanolone concentration significantly higher than on diestrus or on estrus (p<0.01), while rats on estrus showed hippocampal allopregnanolone concentration significantly lower than during other days of estrus cycle (p<0.01). These data indicate differences in hippocampal concentration of allopregnanolone between prepubertal and adult rats and throughout estrous cycle in female rats. This finding suggest a putative role of neurosteroids in the modulation of behavioral changes occurring throughout reproductive life. © 1995, Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE). All rights reserved.
Allopregnanolone concentration in hippocampus of prepubertal rats and female rats throughout estrous cycle / Palumbo, M. A; Salvestroni, C.; Gallo, R.; Guo, Ai Li; Genazzani, Alessandro; Artini, P. G.; Petraglia, F.; Genazzani, A. R.. - In: JOURNAL OF ENDOCRINOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION. - ISSN 0391-4097. - STAMPA. - 18:(1995), pp. 853-856. [10.1007/BF03349832]