Distinct Effects of Estrogen on Mouse Maternal Behavior: The Contribution of Estrogen Synthesis in the BrainReportar como inadecuado

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Estrogen surge following progesterone withdrawal at parturition plays an important role in initiating maternal behavior in various rodent species. Systemic estrogen treatment shortens the latency to onset of maternal behavior in nulliparous female rats that have not experienced parturition. In contrast, nulliparous laboratory mice show rapid onset of maternal behavior without estrogen treatment, and the role of estrogen still remains unclear. Here the effect of systemic estrogen treatment for 2 h, 1 day, 3 days, and 7 days after progesterone withdrawal was examined on maternal behavior of C57BL-6 mice. This estrogen regimen led to different effects on nursing, pup retrieval, and nest building behaviors. Latency to nursing was shortened by estrogen treatment within 2 h. Moreover, pup retrieval and nest building were decreased. mRNA expression was also investigated for estrogen receptor α ERα and for genes involved in regulating maternal behavior, specifically, the oxytocin receptor OTR and vasopressin receptor in the medial amygdala MeA and medial preoptic area MPOA. Estrogen treatment led to decreased ERα mRNA in both regions. Although OTR mRNA was increased in the MeA, OTR and vasopressin receptor mRNA were reduced in the MPOA, showing region-dependent transcription regulation. To determine the mechanisms for the actions of estrogen treatment, the contribution of estrogen synthesis in the brain was examined. Blockade of estrogen synthesis in the brain by systemic letrozole treatment in ovariectomized mice interfered with pup retrieval and nest building but not nursing behavior, indicating different contributions of estrogen synthesis to maternal behavior. Furthermore, letrozole treatment led to an increase in ERα mRNA in the MeA but not in the MPOA, suggesting that involvement of estrogen synthesis is brain region dependent. Altogether, these results suggest that region-dependent estrogen synthesis leads to differential transcriptional activation due to exogenous estrogen treatment, and thereby results in different effects on maternal behavior.

Autor: Gen Murakami

Fuente: http://plos.srce.hr/


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