Reference : A Direct Dopaminergic Control of Aromatase Activity in the Quail Preoptic Area
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A Direct Dopaminergic Control of Aromatase Activity in the Quail Preoptic Area
Baillien, M. [> > > >]
Balthazart, Jacques mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des sciences biomédicales et précliniques > Biologie de la différenciation sexuelle du cerveau >]
Journal of Steroid Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
1-3, Sep-Oct
Yes (verified by ORBi)
[en] In the quail preoptic area (POA) anatomical and pharmacological data suggest that catecholamines may be implicated in the control of testosterone (T) aromatization into estrogens. The biochemical mechanism(s) mediating this control of the enzyme activity is (are) however unexplored. The present studies were carried out to investigate whether the catecholamines, dopamine (DA) and norepinephrine (NE) are able to directly affect aromatase activity (AA) measured during in vitro incubations of POA homogenates. AA was quantified in the POA-hypothalamus of adult male Japanese quail by measuring the tritiated water production from [1beta-3H]-androstenedione. Enzyme activity was linear as a function of the incubation time and of the protein content of homogenates. It exhibited a typical Michaelis-Menten kinetics, with an apparent Km of 2.8 nM and a Vmax of 266.6 fmol h(-1) mg wet weight(-1). AA was then measured at a substrate concentration of 25 nM in the presence of catecholamines and some of their receptor agonists or antagonists, at two concentrations, 10(-3) and 10(-6) M. Norepinephrine and prazosin (alpha1-adrenergic antagonist) had no or very limited effects on AA at both concentrations. In contrast, DA and some D1 and/or D2 receptor agonists (apomorphine[D1/D2], SKF-38393 [D1] and RU-24213 [D2]) depressed AA by 40 to 70% at the 10(-3) M concentration. One D2 receptor antagonist also produced a major inhibition of AA (sulpiride) while other antagonists either had no significant effect or only produced moderate decreases in enzyme activity (SCH-23390 [D1], spiperone [D2], pimozide [D2]) as did two DA indirect agonists, amfonelic acid and nomifensine. The inhibitory effect of the agonists was not antagonized by the less active antagonists, SCH-23390 [D1] or spiperone [D2]. Taken together these results suggest that the inhibitory effects do not involve specific binding of DA or its agonists/antagonists to dopaminergic receptors mediating changes in cAMP concentration. This conclusion is also supported by the observation that addition of dibutyryl cAMP did not change brain AA. It appears more likely that DA and dopaminergic drugs inhibit AA by a direct effect on the enzyme, as suggested by the competitive nature of DA and SKF-38393 inhibition of AA (Ki's of 59 and 84 microM, respectively). The functional significance of this effect should still be demonstrated but this mechanism may represent an important physiological pathway through which neurotransmitters could rapidly affect steroid-dependent processes such as the neural synthesis of estrogens. This would provide a mean by which environmental stimuli could affect reproductive behavior and physiology.

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