Prolactin (PRL) exerts a direct effect on the central nervous system, reaching the PRL-responsive brain regions via cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF). The hormone enters the CSF by a specific receptor-mediated transport mechanism that is localized on the epithelium of the choroid plexus (CP) of brain ventricles. PRL interactions with the CP in aging were examined in young (3-month) and old (27-month) female Wistar rats using immunocytochemistry (immunogold technique). The enhancement of PRL uptake by the CP in animals at both ages was achieved by the modelling of acute hyperprolactinemia. A great age-related difference was found in the intensity of immunocytochemical reaction under activated conditions, the uptake of PRL by CP being significantly higher in young animals than in old. The character of the colloidal gold particle distribution in different components of CP epithelial cells appeared to be the same in both age groups. The weakening of PRL-transporting capacity in the CP of old animals may constitute one aspect of the alteration of neuroendocrine regulation in the CP-CSF system that occurs during aging.
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