Diurnal rhythm of cytoplasmic estrogen receptors in the rat brain in the absence of circulating estrogens

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Science  25 Sep 1981:
Vol. 213, Issue 4515, pp. 1525-1527
DOI: 10.1126/science.7197053


The concentration of cytoplasmic estrogen receptors in the brain of ovariectomized female rats varies during the light-dark cycle. There is no variation in the affinity of the receptors for estradiol, and the rhythm is not due to estrogens from nonovarian sources. Pentobarbital reverses the reduction of receptors that occurs in the dark, and melatonin injection in the light partially mimics the action of darkness in reducing receptor levels. The factors that cause this rhythm is brain estrogen receptors may be one means by which light affects reproductive function.