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Estradiol promotes cell shape changes and glial fibrillary acidic protein redistribution in hypothalamic astrocytes in vitro: a neuronal-mediated effect

AuthorsTorres Alemán, Ignacio ; Rejas, M. Teresa ; Pons, Sebastián ; García-Segura, Luis M.
Issue Date1992
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
CitationGlia 6: 180- 187 (1992)
AbstractWe have previously shown that in hypothalamic mixed neuronal-glial cultures both astrocytic shape and distribution of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) are modified by estradiol. In the present study, we have investigated whether or not the presence of neurons is necessary for these hormonal effects. In mixed neuronal-glial hypothalamic cultures the proportion of process-bearing GFAP-immunoreactive cells was significantly increased after treatment for 30 min with 10(-12) M 17 beta estradiol. This effect was present for at least 1 day and was reverted by incubating the cells in estradiol-free medium. Estradiol incubation resulted in a progressive differentiation of GFAP-immunoreactive cells from a flattened epithelioid morphology to bipolar, radial, and stellate shapes. This effect was not observed in pure hypothalamic glial cultures. Furthermore, incubation of hypothalamic glial cells with medium conditioned by estradiol-treated mixed hypothalamic cultures did not affect the shape of GFAP-immunoreactive astrocytes. In contrast, addition of hypothalamic neurons, but not cerebellar neurons or fibroblasts, to established hypothalamic glial cultures affected the development of estradiol sensitivity in astrocytes. These results indicate that estradiol induction of shape changes in hypothalamic astrocytes is not only dependent on the presence of hypothalamic neurons, but that physical contact between astrocytes and neurons is necessary for the manifestation of the effect of this hormone.
Identifiersissn: 0894-1491
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