Quantitative assessment of early and discontinuous estradiol-induced effects on ventromedial hypothalamic and preoptic area proteins in female rat brain

Kathryn J. Jones, Bruce S. McEwen, Donald W. Pfaff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


In this study, changes in individual proteins in the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMN) and the preoptic area (POA) of the female rat brain were quantitatively assessed following either a short treatment (2 h) or a discontinuous schedule of estradiol. Ovariectomized (OVX) rats were implanted with estradiol capsules or sham-implanted for the appropriate paradigm and sacrificed by decapitation. Punches of brain tissue containing the VMN and POA were incubated with35S-methionine and35S-cysteine, and the labeled proteins separated by two dimensional gel electrophoresis. Estradiol-induced changes were quantitatively assessed by computerized optical densitometry and subjected to a normalization procedure between pairs of estradiol-treated and OVX control gels. A number of proteins within the VMN and POA were found to be positively or negatively affected in labeling after either hormone administration paradigm. In both brain regions, the population of proteins affected in labeling after 2 h of estradiol treatment were markedly different from those affected after the discontinuous hormone paradigm. Comparison of the VMN and POA also indicated that the populations of proteins affected in labeling by either hormone treatment paradigm were different, with there being only 3 proteins (from a total of 39) affected in the same direction and 2 affected in the opposite direction by the hormone in both regions. These findings lend support to the hypothesis that administration of estradiol results in a molecular cascade of events within brain regions involved in the control of reproductive behavior. The differential effects of estradiol on proteins in the VMN and POA correlate with the dichotomy of function of these two brain regions and provide further evidence that gonadal steroids accomplish their action on neurons via mechanisms that are, in part, unique to the brain region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-568
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Estradiol
  • Lordosis behavior
  • Preoptic area
  • Protein synthesis
  • Ventromedial hypothalamus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Quantitative assessment of early and discontinuous estradiol-induced effects on ventromedial hypothalamic and preoptic area proteins in female rat brain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this