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Cellular distribution of the GABAA receptor-modulating 3 α-hydroxy, 5 α-reduced pregnane steroids in the adult rat brain


Saalmann, YB and Kirkcaldie, MTK and Waldron, S and Calford, MB, Cellular distribution of the GABAA receptor-modulating 3 α-hydroxy, 5 α-reduced pregnane steroids in the adult rat brain, Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 19, (4) pp. 272-284. ISSN 0953-8194 (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1365-2826.2006.01527.x


The 3 α-hydroxy,5 α-reduced pregnane steroids, allopregnanolone and allotetrahydrodeoxycorticosterone, are the most potent endogenous positive modulators of GABAA receptor-mediated inhibition. This study presents the first immunohistochemical examination of the cellular distribution of 3 α-hydroxy,5 α-reduced pregnane steroids across the brain. We found a widespread distribution in the adult rat, with dense immunolabelling in the olfactory bulb, striatum and cerebral cortex, and lower density labelling in the brainstem reticular formation. In general terms, this distribution accords with the regional concentrations of 3 α-hydroxy,5 α-reduced steroids determined, in other laboratories, by brain region sampling and either gas chromatography-mass fragmentography or radioimmunoassay. However, immunohistochemistry allowed for a more detailed examination of regional distribution and cellular specificity. All immunoreactivity was confined to the cell bodies and thick dendrites of neurones; no identifiable glia were labelled. In most brain areas, the location and morphology of labelled cells identified them as excitatory neurones. In addition, cell populations known to be projecting GABAergic neurones (e.g. cerebellar Purkinje cells) were immunoreactive, whereas local inhibitory neurones generally were not. The cellular distribution of 3 α-hydroxy,5 α-reduced steroids suggests that sensory, motor, limbic and homeostatic systems can be influenced by neurosteroids at multiple stages of processing.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Central nervous system
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Kirkcaldie, MTK (Dr Matthew Kirkcaldie)
UTAS Author:Calford, MB (Professor Mike Calford)
ID Code:70947
Year Published:2007
Web of Science® Times Cited:48
Deposited By:Research Division
Deposited On:2011-07-05
Last Modified:2014-11-25

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