By means of double-label immunocytochemistry, authors studied the presence of estrogen receptor α (ER-α) protein in vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGluT2) protein-immunoreactive neurons in the female rat hypothalamus and amygdala. They examined colocalization of the 2 immunoreactive proteins in structures in which they found a significant overlap in the localization of the distribution of ER-α- and VGluT2-immunopositive nerve cells, namely in the medial preoptic area, the ventral subdivision of the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus, and the medial amygdaloid nucleus. In the medial preoptic area, only 2.74 % of ER-α-immunoreactive neurons were VGluT2 positive, and conversely, 5 % of VGluT2-immunoreactive neurons contained ER-α immunofluorescent labeling. Highest degree of colocalization was detected in the ventral subdivision of the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus, where 22.81 % of the ER-α-immunopositive neurons were VGluT2 immunoreactive and 37.14 % of the VGluT2-immunolabeled neurons contained ER-α-positive nucleus. In the medial amygdaloid nucleus, 15.38 % of the ER-α and 18.1 % of the VGluT2-immunoreactive neurons were double labeled. The colocalizations suggest that glutamatergic (VGluT2 protein immunoreactive) neurons are involved in the mediation of the action of estrogen on the rat brain.
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