Anti-human placental antigen complex X-P2 (hPAX-P2) anti-serum recognizes C-terminus of huntingtin-associated protein 1A common to 1B as a determinant marker for the stigmoid body
An aromatase-containing neural system was examined in the rat forebrain, using a polyclonal antibody against aromatase-associated human placental antigen X-P2 (hPAX-P2). Numerous dot-like structures, which we have called stigmoid bodies, were immunostained in the preoptico-hypothalamic region, the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, the medial amygdala, the arcuate nucleus, the subfornical organ, and the area extending from the hypothalamic area to the central gray through the medial forebrain bundle and the periventricular fiber system of the posterior diencephalon. The stigmoid bodies were always found as inclusions in the neuronal cytoplasm. Their diameter was usually 1-3 microns, but exceptionally large forms, over 3 microns, were found in some brain regions, including the area extending from the median preoptic nucleus surrounding the organosum vasculosum laminae terminalis to the anterior medial preoptic nucleus, the periventricular nucleus of the preoptic area, and some parts of the medial preoptic nucleus. Most of these nuclei show sexual dimorphism. The distribution pattern of the hPAX-P2 immunoreactive stigmoid bodies agreed well with that of aromatase activity previously reported in many biochemical studies. Brain regions where the stigmoid bodies were prominent largely coincide with steroid binding locations common to both androgen and estrogen, or regions where both sex steroid receptors are present. Although it still remains to be determined whether aromatase is localized within these stigmoid bodies, it appears likely that they are closely associated with the function of sex steroids at their target sites in the brain.