Gonadal steroids modify dendritic spine density in ventromedial hypothalamic neurons: A golgi study in the adult rat

Maya Frankfurt, Elizabeth Gould, Catherine S. Woolley, Bruce S. McEwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

215 Scopus citations

Abstract

Neurons in the adult rat ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMN, 4–6 neurons per brain; 3–7 brains per group) were studied under various hormonal conditions using the single-section Golgi impregnation technique. Intact rats of both sexes and ovariectomized females treated with oil, estrogen or estrogen and progesterone were used. Golgi-impregnated neurons in the VMN were analyzed to determine possible differences in cell body size, number of primary dendrites, number of dendritic branchpoints and spine density. The only significant differences found were in spine density. In the VMN of ovariectomized rats given oil, there were significantly fewer spines on primary dendrites than in either estrogen-treated, estrogen plus progesterone-treated or intact female rats. There were no differences between intact male and female rats observed in any parameter. In addition, when spine density of VMN neurons was assessed throughout the estrous cycle, it was determined that spine density was significantly lower at diestrus than proestrus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)530-535
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroendocrinology
Volume51
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

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