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Keywords:

  • γ-Aminobutyric acid receptor;
  • Estradiol;
  • CNS;
  • Neurotransmitter receptor binding;
  • Tamoxifen

Abstract: Previous studies have identified an effect of estrogen administration on the number of central GABAergic binding sites of rat. We have further characterized this effect by performing a series of experiments in vitro where we analyzed the changes of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) binding in slices of nervous tissue incubated in a physiological medium in presence of estradiol. The tissues were dissected from ovariectomized rats. In such a system, estrogen augmented the amount of [3H]muscimol binding within 3 h of incubation. The effect was dose-dependent and could be blocked by the addition of the anti-estrogen tamoxifen. The increase in [3H]muscimol binding could not be observed by addition of estradiol to broken membranes or by incubation of the slices with steroids deprived of estrogenic activity. Furthermore, the estrogen-induced increase of GABA binding sites could be prevented by addition of cycloheximide and α-amanitin in the incubation medium. Our data indicate that the estrogen may increase the number of GABA binding sites by direct interaction with the GABA receptor gene or genes involved in the metabolism of GABA receptor.