Reference : Specific innervation of aromatase neurons by substance P fibers in the dorsal horn of...
Scientific journals : Article
Life sciences : Zoology
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Neurosciences & behavior
Specific innervation of aromatase neurons by substance P fibers in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord in quail
Evrard, H. C. [> > > >]
Willems, Evelyne [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des sciences cliniques > Hématologie >]
Harada, N. [> > > >]
Balthazart, Jacques mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des sciences biomédicales et précliniques > Biologie de la différenciation sexuelle du cerveau >]
Journal of Comparative Neurology
Wiley Liss, Inc.
Yes (verified by ORBi)
New York
[en] immunocytochemistry ; estrogen synthase ; neurokinin receptor ; reproduction ; pain
[en] The enzyme aromatase catalyzes the production of estrogens in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord where most of the nociceptive primary afferent fibers terminate. Numerous estrogen receptors are present in this area and the control of spinal aromatase activity is thought to play an important role in the estrogenic control of nociception. The coexistence of aromatase and nociceptive terminals suggests a role for aromatase cells in pain-related processes, but whether terminals releasing nociceptive neuropeptides (e.g., substance P) actually contact aromatase neurons is unknown and the factors that control spinal aromatase activity have not yet been identified. In the present study we analyzed by double-label immunocytochemistry the distribution in the Japanese quail spinal cord, of aromatase and of substance P or its receptor (neurokinin 1 receptor). All antigens were mainly localized in laminae I and II as observed in mammals. Most aromatase neurons were colocalized with neurokinin 1 receptors and were in close apposition with substance P-immunoreactive fibers. These results suggest that aromatase neurons are responsive to noxious stimulation and may participate in the control of nociception. Furthermore, spinal aromatase activity could be controlled by substance P through a regulation of the aromatase gene transcription as reported for the mouse diencephalon and/or through neurokinin 1 receptor-dependent phosphorylation of the aromatase protein.

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