Oestrogen receptor beta-immunoreactivity in gonadotropin releasing hormone-expressing neurones: regulation by oestrogen

J Neuroendocrinol. 2001 Sep;13(9):741-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2826.2001.00708.x.


Double-label immunohistochemistry was employed to establish whether immunoreactivity for the beta subtype of the oestrogen receptor (ER beta-IR) is present in gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH)-containing cells. In the immortalized GnRH cell line, GT1-7, almost all nuclei were immunoreactive for ER beta. In the preoptic area of ovariectomized rats, more than one-half of the GnRH neurones (52.0-63.5%) contained ER beta-IR within the nucleus; a smaller proportion of these neurones (5-10%) displayed a particularly intense nuclear signal for ER beta. The presence of ER beta-IR in the nuclei of GT1-7 cells and GnRH neurones is consistent with recent reports of ER beta mRNA in these cells. Oestrogen treatment reduced the percentage of GnRH neurones with detectable ER beta-IR. The range of signal intensity for ER beta and the incidence of the ER beta signal in GnRH neurones were comparable following double-label immunohistochemistry involving either bright field or fluorescent techniques. These findings raise the possibility that ER beta receptors mediate direct effects of oestrogen on GnRH neurones.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Estrogen Receptor beta
  • Estrogens / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / metabolism*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Ovariectomy
  • Preoptic Area / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Estrogen / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism*


  • Estrogen Receptor beta
  • Estrogens
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone