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Synaptic remodeling in the rat arcuate nucleus during the estrous cycle



Synaptic remodeling in the rat arcuate nucleus during the estrous cycle



Neuroscience 32(3): 663-668



Adult female rats showing regular vaginal cycles were studied in order to determine the number of axosomatic synapses in thin sections of the arcuate nucleus. The number of synapses per length of perikaryal membrane was significantly decreased in estrus, compared to other days of the estrous cycle (P < 0.05). The reduction in the number of synapses in estrus was accompanied by a decrease in the percentage of the average length of perikaryal membrane covered by presynaptic terminals and by an increase in the percentage of membrane in close apposition of glial processes. Since the average perikaryal perimeter was not significantly changed during the estrous cycle, these results indicate a net decrease in the number of arcuate nucleus axosomatic synapses between proestrus and estrus, with a reinnervation of arcuate neurons between estrus and metestrus. These results suggest that there is a physiological synaptic turnover in the arcuate nucleus of the rat during the estrous cycle.

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Accession: 007852744

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 2601838

DOI: 10.1016/0306-4522(89)90288-1


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