Aging is associated with changes in allopregnanolone concentrations in brain, endocrine glands and serum in male rats

F. Bernardi, C. Salvestroni, E. Casarosa, R. E. Nappi, A. Lanzone, S. Luisi, R. H. Purdy, F. Petraglia, A. R. Genazzani

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Abstract

Objective: Allopregnanolone is a potent neuroactive steroid hormone produced in the brain and in peripheral endocrine glands. The present study investigated possible age-related variations in allopregnanolone content in brain areas, endocrine glands and serum of male rats. Design: Wistar male rats were categori/ed into 5 groups (6 rats in each) according to age: 6, 12, 18 and 20 months respectively. Methods: Allopregnamolone content in acidic homogenates of brain cortex, hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenals and gonads was measured by a specific radioimmunoassay. Serum allopregnanolone, corticoste one and testosterone were also assayed by radioimmunoassay. Results: Brain cortex allopregnanolone content decreased significantly with age, while hypothalamic allopregnanolone content remained constant until 18 months and increased significantly at 20 months. Pituitary content showed a significant age-related reduction. Adrenal allopregnanolone content remained constant until 18 months, and was significantly higher at 20 months. Tests and serum allopregnanolone contents showed significant age-related increases. Serum testosterone levels showed an age related decrease, while no age-related variation in serum corticosterone was found. Conclusions: The present study showed a significant impact of aging on allopregnanolone contents in brain, endocrine glands and serum, showing an age-related decrease in brain cortex and pituitary, and an age-related increase in testes, adrenals and serum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-321
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Endocrinology
Volume138
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1998

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

Cite this

Bernardi, F., Salvestroni, C., Casarosa, E., Nappi, R. E., Lanzone, A., Luisi, S., Purdy, R. H., Petraglia, F., & Genazzani, A. R. (1998). Aging is associated with changes in allopregnanolone concentrations in brain, endocrine glands and serum in male rats. European Journal of Endocrinology, 138(3), 316-321. https://doi.org/10.1530/eje.0.1380316