Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes 1991; 98(5): 99-109
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1211106

© J. A. Barth Verlag in Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Influence of Neurotransmitters on Sexual Differentiation of Brain Structure and Function

K. D. Döhler1 , Barbara Jarzab2 , Petra M. Sickmöller3 , Danuta Kokociñska2 , M. Kaminski2 , Elzbieta Gubala2 , W. Achtelik2 , J. Wagiel2
  • 1Pharma Bissendorf Peptide, Hannover/Germany
  • 2Silesian Academy of Medicine, Katowice/Poland
  • 3Dept. Neurology, University of Homburg/Saar/Germany
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Publication History

Publication Date:
16 July 2009 (online)


Newborn rats received daily subcutaneous treatment with compounds which influence serotoninergic, cholinergic, alpha-adrenergic and β-adrenergic activity. In adulthood luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion pattern, female sexual behavior, and the volume of the sexually dimorphic nucleus of the preoptic are (SDN-POA) were determined.

Postnatal administration of 1-tryptophan increased the volume of the SDN-POA significantly when given alone or when given simultaneously with testosterone propionate (TP). Para-chlorophenyl-alanine (pCPA) also increased SDN-POA volume, butdid not potentiate the stimulating influence of TP. Clonidine had no effect per se on SDN-POA development, but it significantly potentiated the effect of TP in females. Salbutamol increased SDN-POA volume in females and in males. Postnatal treatment of female rats with the alpha-adrenergic receptor antagonists prazosine and yohimbine or with the nicotin receptor antagonist mecamylamine had permanent potentiating effects on the pattern of LH secretion, whereas postnatal treatment with beta-adrenergic compounds reduced the LH-release response to gonadal steroids in adulthood. Postnatal treatment with clonidin or 1-tryptophane inhibited differentiation of the capacity for lordosis behavior. Beta-receptor agonists postnatally had a potentiating effect on the capacity for lordosis behavior in female and male rats. Cholinergic stimulation postnatally inhibited differentiation of the capacity for lordosis behavior in female rats, but prevented the inhibitory effect of postnatal androgenization. There was no correlation between SDN-POA volume and any of the two functional parameters.