Presynaptic control of rapid estrogen fluctuations in the songbird auditory forebrain.

TitlePresynaptic control of rapid estrogen fluctuations in the songbird auditory forebrain.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsRemage-Healey, L, Dong S, Maidment NT, Schlinger BA
JournalThe Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Date Published2011 Jul 6
KeywordsAnalysis of Variance, Animals, Calcium Channel Blockers, Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, Estrogens, Male, microdialysis, omega-Conotoxin GVIA, Potassium, Presynaptic Terminals, Prosencephalon, Songbirds, Statistics, Nonparametric, Synapses

Within the CNS of vertebrates, estrogens can directly modulate neural circuits that govern a wide range of behaviors, including feeding, spatial navigation, reproduction, and auditory processing. The rapid actions of estrogens in brain (seconds to minutes) have become well established, but it is unclear how estrogens are synthesized and released within restricted temporal and spatial domains in neural circuits. Anatomical localization of the estrogen synthesis enzyme (aromatase) within presynaptic terminals suggests that neuroestrogens can be synthesized directly at the neuronal synapse. A consequent prediction follows that synaptic estrogen production is controlled via classical electrochemical events in neurons. Here, we present evidence that acute fluctuations in local neuroestrogen levels in the forebrain of the zebra finch depend on calcium influx within presynaptic terminals. In vivo experiments using microdialysis linked to a sensitive estrogen ELISA showed that local forebrain neuroestrogens were both suppressed by potassium-evoked excitation and upregulated during 30 min periods of extracellular calcium depletion in a region enriched with presynaptic aromatase. Furthermore, potassium-evoked changes in local neuroestrogens were blocked by targeted delivery of the voltage-gated calcium channel blocker ω-conotoxin GVIA. Together, these experiments indicate that neuroestrogens are controlled by specific, depolarization-sensitive, calcium-dependent events within forebrain presynaptic terminals.

Alternate JournalJ. Neurosci.