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Title: Estradiol and the feeding state modulate the interaction between leptin and the nitrergic system in female rats
Keywords: Leptin
Nitric oxide
Feeding state
Medial preoptic area
Medial basal hypothalamus
Óxido nítrico
Área pré-óptica medial
Ratos - Alimentação
Issue Date: Dec-2020
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: OLIVEIRA, L. L. B.; BORGES, B. D. B.; FRANCI, C. R. Estradiol and the feeding state modulate the interaction between leptin and the nitrergic system in female rats. Neuropeptides, [S. I.], v. 84, Dec. 2020. DOI:
Abstract: Leptin mediates the interaction between reproductive function and energy balance. However, leptin receptors are not expressed in neurons that produce gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), likely indicating an indirect action through interneurons. Among likely neurons that modulate the secretion of GnRH are NO (nitric oxide) neurons. We assessed whether estradiol and feeding conditions modulate a possible interaction between leptin and NO in brain areas related to the control of reproductive function. Estradiol-treated and untreated ovariectomized rats were normally fed or fasted for 48 h. Then, saline (control) or leptin (3 μg/1 μl) intracerebroventricular microinjections were administered, and after thirty minutes, the brains collected subsequent to the decapitation or transcardially perfusion. Leptin and estradiol increased NO synthase (nNOS) gene expression (RT-PCR) and content (Western blotting) in the medial preoptic area (MPOA) and medial basal hypothalamus (MBH) only in fasted rats. Leptin increased: 1-phosphorylated-signal transducer and activator of transcription-3(pSTAT3) (immunohistochemistry) in the MPOA and various hypothalamic nuclei [arcuate (ARC); ventromedial (VMH); dorsal/ventral dorsomedial (dDMH/vDMH); premammilar ventral (PMV)], effects potentiated by estradiol/fasting interaction; 2- nNOS/pSTAT3 coexpression in the MPOA only in estradiol-treated, fasted rats; 3- nNOS-immunoreactive cell expression in the VMH, DMH and PMV (areas related to reproductive function control) of estradiol -treated rats. Thus, when leptin is reduced during fasting, leptin replacement effectively increased the expression of nitric oxide, which activated the HPG axis only in the presence of estradiol. Estradiol modulates the nitrergic system, leptin sensitivity and consequently leptin's effects on the nitrergic system in hypothalamus and in particular vDMH and PMV.
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