Author(s): Kippin TE, Sotiropoulos V, Badih J, Pfaus JG
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Opposing roles have been implicated for the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and anterior portion of the lateral hypothalamic area (aLHA) in the regulation of sexual behaviour in male rats based on in vivo neurochemical correlates. The present study provides functional evidence supporting this hypothesis by examining the effects of lesions to these structures on copulation, noncontact erection and receptive female preference. Sexually naïve male Long-Evans rats received either bilateral 1.0- micro L injections of NMDA (10 micro g/ micro L/side) or vehicle (shams) into either the aLHA or the NAc. During repeated tests of copulation most of the sham-lesioned males, but few of the aLHA-lesioned and NAc-lesioned males, copulated to ejaculation. Most of the NAc-lesioned males also failed to intromit, whereas the majority of the aLHA-lesioned males intromitted repeatedly. During exposure to an inaccessible receptive female behind a wire-mesh screen, aLHA-lesioned males displayed facilitation of noncontact erections, whereas NAc-lesioned males displayed impaired noncontact erections. Conversely, during simultaneous exposure to inaccessible receptive and nonreceptive females in different compartments, all males spent more time in the proximity of the receptive female. These findings indicate that the aLHA plays an inhibitory role in the regulation of sexual arousal and an excitatory role in the regulation of ejaculation. Conversely, the NAc plays an excitatory role in the regulation in sexual arousal.
This article was published in Eur J Neurosci
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy