Author(s): Handa RJ, Corbier P, Shryne JE, Schoonmaker JN, Gorski RA
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Abstract Gonadectomy of male rats was performed at 0, 6-7 (6h), 12-13 (12h), or 24 h postnatally in order to examine the influence of testosterone exposure on sexual differentiation of the brain. The indices examined were: the volume of the sexually dimorphic nucleus of the preoptic area (SDN-POA) and luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) titers following estradiol benzoate (EB) and progesterone (P) administration. Control animals were sham-operated at 0 h and gonadectomized at 29 days of age (sham). A decrease in the percentage of males with elevated plasma LH levels following P was found with increasing delay before gonadectomy. Significant (P less than 0.001) differences existed in the amplitude of plasma LH titers 5 h following P administration between sham, 0 h, and 6 h groups. Follicle-stimulating hormone was also elevated in all neonatally gonadectomized male groups following P administration, but there was no difference between the groups. Volume of the SDN-POA was significantly (P less than 0.001) smaller in all gonadectomized males when compared to that of sham-operated males, but no differences existed between males gonadectomized at the different hours postpartum. In female rats gonadectomized at 0 h (F0h), LH levels were elevated 5 h following P, but only to a magnitude of 36\% of that of sham-operated controls (P less than 0.001). Volume of the SDN-POA of the F0h group was significantly reduced (P less than 0.05) when compared to that of sham females. Thus, in males, the presence of the tests prenatally may be responsible for the initiation of masculinization of LH release mechanisms and the SDN-POA, but both require further androgen exposure for their completion. In addition, the LH and FSH regulating systems show a differential sensitivity to the steroid hormone environment during development that shapes the animal's response to steroid as an adult.
This article was published in Biol Reprod
and referenced in Biochemistry & Physiology: Open Access