Aging and estradiol effects on gene expression in the medial preoptic area, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, and posterodorsal medial amygdala of male rats

Victoria L. Nutsch, Margaret R. Bell, Ryan G. Will, Weiling Yin, Andrew Wolfe, Ross Gillette, Juan M. Dominguez, Andrea C. Gore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Studies on the role of hormones in male reproductive aging have traditionally focused on testosterone, but estradiol (E2) also plays important roles in the control of masculine physiology and behavior. Our goal was to examine the effects of E2 on the expression of genes selected for E2-sensitivity, involvement in behavioral neuroendocrine functions, and impairments with aging. Mature adult (MAT, 5 mo) and aged (AG, 18 mo) Sprague-Dawley male rats were castrated, implanted with either vehicle or E2 subcutaneous capsules, and euthanized one month later. Bilateral punches were taken from the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BnST), posterodorsal medial amygdala (MePD) and the preoptic area (POA). RNA was extracted, and expression of 48 genes analyzed by qPCR using Taqman low-density arrays. Results showed that effects of age and E2 were age- and region-specific. In the POA, 5 genes were increased with E2 compared to vehicle, and there were no age effects. By contrast the BnST showed primarily age-related changes, with 6 genes decreasing with age. The MePD had 5 genes that were higher in aged than mature males, and 17 genes with significant interactions between age and E2. Gene families identified in the MePD included nuclear hormone receptors, neurotransmitters and neuropeptides and their receptors. Ten serum hormones were assayed in these same males, with results revealing both age- and E2-effects, in several cases quite profound. These results support the idea that the male brain continues to be highly sensitive to estradiol even with aging, but the nature of the response can be substantially different in mature and aging animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-164
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Volume442
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 15 2017

Keywords

  • Aging
  • BnST
  • Estrogen
  • Male
  • Medial amygdala
  • Preoptic area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology

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