Corticosteroid production by fetal rat hippocampal neurons

S M MacKenzie, C J Clark, M C Ingram, M Lai, J Seckl, C E Gomez-Sanchez, R Fraser, J M C Connell, E Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


11 beta -hydroxylase and aldosterone synthase catalyse the final stages of corticosterone and aldosterone synthesis respectively. previously, we established that they are expressed in the rat brain, particularly the cerebellum and the hippocampus. Primary cultures of fetal rat neurons were studied. RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry established that neurons express 11 beta -hydroxylase and aldosterone synthase mRNAs and protein. After incubating the cells with 10 muM DOC for 24 hours, medium was analysed for aldosterone and corticosterone. Median % conversion of DOC to corticosterone was 7.6% compared to 0.4% in controls. Median % conversion of DOC to aldosterone was 6.2% compared to 0.06% in controls. Corticosteroids mediate a number of functions of mammalian brain, including blood pressure homeostasis, salt appetite and neuronal excitability. Local production of these steroids could have significant effects on these processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-535
Number of pages5
JournalEndocrine research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000


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