Cellular Mechanisms Controlling Rapid Changes in Brain Aromatase Activity

Thierry D. Charlier, Charlotte A. Cornil, Gregory F. Ball and Jacques Balthazart

in Brain Aromatase, Estrogens, and Behavior

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199841196
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979837 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Series in Behavioral Neuroendocrinology

Cellular Mechanisms Controlling Rapid Changes in Brain Aromatase Activity

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Beside their action at the genomic level, estrogens such as 17β-estradiol (E2) also activate rapid and transient cellular, physiological, and behavioral changes. Aromatase is the key limiting enzyme in the production of estrogens and the rapid modulation of this enzymatic activity could produce rapid changes in local E2 concentrations. The mechanisms that might mediate such rapid enzymatic changes are thus currently under intense scrutiny. Recent studies in our laboratory indicate that brain aromatase activity is rapidly inhibited by an increase in intracellular calcium concentration that results from potassium-induced depolarization or from the activation of glutamatergic receptors. Altogether, the phosphorylation/dephosphorylation processes affecting aromatase activity provide a new general mechanism by which the concentration of estrogens can be rapidly altered in the brain and other tissues.

Keywords: 17β-estradiol; aromatase activity; estrogen receptor alpha; phosphorylation; HEK293; Hypothalamus; Japanese quail

Chapter.  9339 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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