Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 387–397 | Cite as

Immunocytochemical localization of glucocorticoid receptors in the spinal cord: Effects of adrenalectomy, glucocorticoid treatment, and spinal cord transection

  • Mónica Ferrini
  • Susana González
  • Tony Antakly
  • Alejandro F. De Nicola


  1. 1.

    Studies were performed to determine the changes in immunoreactive (IR) type II glucocorticoid receptors of the ventral horn of the spinal cord produced by adrenalectomy (ADX), dexamethasone (DEX) treatment, and spinal cord transection in rats.

  2. 2.

    These treatments did not significantly affect the number of IR neurons of the ventral horn; however, staining intensity was enhanced after ADX and decreased following 4 days of DEX. A similar response pattern was observed for glial-type cells.

  3. 3.

    In control rats, about half of the ventral horn motoneurons were surrounded by immunoreactive glial perineuroral cells. These perineuronal cells increased after ADX (77% of counted neurons) and decreased following DEX treatment (32%;P < 0.05).

  4. 4.

    Two days after transection, staining was intensified in ventral horn motoneurons and glial cells located in the spinal cord below the lesion. Immunoreactive perineuronal cells increased to 85% of counted neurons, from a value of 66% in sham-operated rats (P < 0.05).

  5. 5.

    These findings suggest considerable plasticity of the spinal cord GCR in response to changes in hormonal levels and experimental lesions. It is possible that factors involved in cell to cell communication with transfer of hypothetical regulatory molecules may play roles in GCR regulation and the increased immunoreaction of glia associated with neurons following transection and ADX.


Key words

glucocorticoid receptor spinal cord immunocytochemistry dexamethasone down-regulation spinal cord transection 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mónica Ferrini
    • 1
  • Susana González
    • 1
  • Tony Antakly
    • 2
  • Alejandro F. De Nicola
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Neuroendocrine BiochemistryInstituto de Biologia y Medicina ExperimentalBuenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Department of PathologyUniversity of MontrealMontrealCanada

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