Beta-adrenergic receptor binding in human and rat hypothalamus

Biol Psychiatry. 1992 Sep 15;32(6):512-22. doi: 10.1016/0006-3223(92)90219-p.


Quantitative autoradiographic analysis of beta-adrenergic binding sites was conducted in human postmortem hypothalamus using the radioligand 125I-pindolol. The focus was on the hypothalamic nuclei most clearly involved in corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) release, the PVN and SON. For comparison, the distribution of hypothalamic beta-adrenergic receptors was evaluated in the rat. A high level of beta-adrenergic receptor binding was found in the human paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and supraoptic nucleus (SON), but not in the rat. The majority of the beta-adrenergic receptors found in the human hypothalamus were of the beta 2-subtype. In contrast, in the rat hypothalamus, the majority of receptors were of the beta 1-subtype. These results show that the anatomical loci exist for direct beta-adrenergic influence on hypothalamic neuroendocrine function in the human and that the topography of beta-adrenergic receptors is markedly different in the rat and human hypothalamus.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Binding Sites*
  • Cadaver
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamus / chemistry*
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Paraventricular Hypothalamic Nucleus / chemistry
  • Pindolol / pharmacokinetics
  • Pituitary Hormones / metabolism
  • Postmortem Changes
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta / classification
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta / drug effects*
  • Supraoptic Nucleus / chemistry


  • Pituitary Hormones
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Pindolol