09 April 2008
A double immunocytochemical procedure, with two different chromogens, was used to compare the respective distribution of estrogen receptor-immunoreactive cells and tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive neurons on the same sections of the preoptic region of adult female rainbow trout ( Oncorhynchus mykiss). Estrogen receptor-immunoreactive cells were observed in the anterior preoptic region surrounding the preoptic recess and its large lateral extensions. Tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive cells were consistently detected in the ventral and ventrolateral walls of the preoptic recess, in an area that was named nucleus preopticus pars anteroventralis. Dopamine immunohistochemistry and Dil retrograde transport studies indicated that part of these catecholaminergic neurons are dopaminergic and could project to the pituitary. Double staining studies showed consistently that most estrogen receptor-positive cells located ventral to the large extensions of the preoptic recess are also tyrosine hydroxylase-positive, indicating that this region is a major target for estradiol feedback. The results are discussed in relation to the role of the nucleus preopticus pars anteroventralis in mediating the negative feedback actions of estradiol on the secretion of gonadotrophin (GTH2) secretion. A hypothesis is drawn in order to explain the synchronizing role of estradiol at the time of ovulation in rainbow trout.