Estrogen-induced region specific decrease in the density of 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine-labeled cells in the olfactory bulb of adult female rats

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Effects of chronic estrogen treatment on the survival rate of newly integrated interneurons were studied in the olfactory bulb of adult (250-300 g) female rats. Ovariectomized rats received 17-beta estradiol dissolved in sesame oil (i.p., 100 μg/100 g body weight [b.w.]) during six consecutive days, and on day 6 they were also injected with the mitotic marker 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine (BrdU, i.p., 50 mg/kg b.w.) in every 2 hours during 8 hours. After 21 days of survival animals were killed and the density of BrdU-immunoreactive cells was analyzed in the granule cell and glomerular layer both in the main and accessory olfactory bulb. A significant decrease was found in the density of BrdU-labeled cells in both layers examined in the accessory olfactory bulb of ovariectomized and estradiol-treated rats when compared with those of ovariectomized and vehicle-treated animals. In the main olfactory bulb, in contrast, no difference was observed in the density of BrdU-immunoreactive cells in either of the two layers. Our results suggest that cells destined to the glomerular and granule cell layers react in the same way to chronic estrogen treatment, and the effect of estradiol is region specific, at least, within the olfactory bulb. 17-Beta estradiol reduces the density of newly generated cells in the accessory olfactory bulb, an area involved in the perception of pheromones, thus having a role in regulating sexual behavior, while the rate of integration and survival of newly born cells in the first relay station of the main olfactory pathway, i.e. the main olfactory bulb, remains unchanged.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1919-1924
Number of pages6
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 21 2006



  • 17-beta estradiol
  • 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine
  • accessory olfactory bulb
  • main olfactory bulb
  • neurogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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