Estrogen receptor expression in the facial nucleus of adult hamsters: Does axotomy recapitulate development?

Lisa Tanzer, Dale R. Sengelaub, Kathryn J. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Testosterone propionate (TP) augments hamster facial motoneuron regeneration following axonal injury by an androgen-mediated mechanism. Although many of the trophic properties of TP are androgenic, TP can be metabolized to estradiol (E). We have recently shown that E administered in supraphysiological doses can also enhance facial nerve regeneration. The mechanism by which E alters nerve regeneration is unknown. The recent discovery of transient estrogen receptor (ER) expression in the developing rat facial motor nucleus (FMN), coupled with the concept that regeneration may recapitulate development, has led to the hypothesis that facial nerve injury may transiently induce expression of ER in the adult hamster FMN or one of its chief afferents, the principal nucleus of the trigeminal nerve (Nu5). In the present study, this hypothesis was tested using steroid hormone autoradiographic procedures. The right facial nerve was injured in castrated or castrated plus TP adult hamsters. A gonadally intact, nonaxtomized group of hamsters was also included to examine constitutive expression of ER in the FMN or Nu5. The paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN; positive control), FMN, and Nu5, were qualitatively and quantitatively examined for the presence of ER. As expected, ER were present in the PVN-positive control in all groups. ER were neither present nor induced with facial nerve injury or TP administration in either the FMN or Nu5. Alternate mechanisms by which E enhancement of facial nerve regeneration without ER might be explained are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)438-446
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neurobiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 5 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoradiography
  • Estradiol
  • Motoneurons
  • Nerve regeneration
  • Steroid receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Estrogen receptor expression in the facial nucleus of adult hamsters: Does axotomy recapitulate development?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this