References of "Balthazart, Jacques"
     in
Bookmark and Share    
Peer Reviewed
See detailTestosterone Effects on Staining Density and Autoradiographic Investigations of the Alpha 2-Adrenergic Receptor in the Medial Preoptic Nucleus of the Japanese Quail: Relationship to the Activation of Reproductive Behavior
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Sante, P.; Ball, G. F.

in Archives Internationales de Physiologie, de Biochimie et de Biophysique (1991), 99(6), 385-92

The effects of gonadectomy combined or not with testosterone (T) therapy on the sexual behavior, cloacal gland area, staining density and alpha 2-adrenergic receptors in the medial preoptic nucleus (POM ... [more ▼]

The effects of gonadectomy combined or not with testosterone (T) therapy on the sexual behavior, cloacal gland area, staining density and alpha 2-adrenergic receptors in the medial preoptic nucleus (POM) were studied in male and female Japanese quail. In castrated males, T increased the cloacal gland size and activated copulatory behavior. In agreement with previous reports, these effects were sexually differentiated: under the influence of T, cloacal gland growth was smaller and this treatment did not activate masculine sexual behavior in females. The optical density of the medial preoptic nucleus stained with thionein blue (Nissl stain) was decreased by castration and increased by T in both males and females. This suggests that T has a profound effect on the synthesis of proteins in the POM and, since POM is a critical site in the activation by T of masculine sexual behavior, these induced proteins are, in all probability, a part of the causal chain of biochemical events giving rise to copulatory behavior. The treatment with T had, by contrast, no clear effect on the number of binding sites and on the affinity of the alpha 2-adrenergic receptors in the POM. Therefore, if the noradrenergic transmission is involved in the induction by T of copulatory behavior, it is probably acting either through the alteration of another adrenergic receptor subtype or through the modulation of the baseline levels or turnover of the transmitter itself. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 7 (0 ULg)
Peer Reviewed
See detailNeuroanatomical Specificity in the Co-Localization of Aromatase and Estrogen Receptors
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Foidart, Agnès ULg; Surlemont, C. et al

in Journal of Neurobiology (1991), 22(2), 143-57

The relative distributions of aromatase and of estrogen receptors were studied in the brain of the Japanese quail by a double-label immunocytochemical technique. Aromatase immunoreactive cells (ARO-ir ... [more ▼]

The relative distributions of aromatase and of estrogen receptors were studied in the brain of the Japanese quail by a double-label immunocytochemical technique. Aromatase immunoreactive cells (ARO-ir) were found in the medial preoptic nucleus, in the septal region, and in a large cell cluster extending from the dorso-lateral aspect of the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus to the tuber at the level of the nucleus inferioris hypothalami. Immunoreactive estrogen receptors (ER) were also found in each of these brain areas but their distribution was much broader and included larger parts of the preoptic, septal, and tuberal regions. In the ventromedial and tuberal hypothalamus, the majority of the ARO-ir cells (over 75%) also contained immunoreactive ER. By contrast, very few of the ARO-ir cells were double-labeled in the preoptic area and in the septum. More than 80% of the aromatase-containing cells contained no ER in these regions. This suggests that the estrogens, which are formed centrally by aromatization of testosterone, might not exert their biological effects through binding with the classical nuclear ER. The fact that significant amounts of aromatase activity are found in synaptosomes purified by differential centrifugation and that aromatase immunoreactivity is observed at the electron microscope level in synaptic boutons suggests that aromatase might produce estrogens that act at the synaptic level as neurohormones or neuromodulators. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 8 (0 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailDistribution of Aromatase-Immunoreactive Cells in the Mouse Forebrain
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Foidart, Agnès ULg; Surlemont, C. et al

in Cell & Tissue Research (1991), 263(1), 71-9

The distribution of aromatase-immunoreactive cells was studied by immunocytochemistry in the mouse forebrain using a purified polyclonal antibody raised against human placental aromatase. Labeled ... [more ▼]

The distribution of aromatase-immunoreactive cells was studied by immunocytochemistry in the mouse forebrain using a purified polyclonal antibody raised against human placental aromatase. Labeled perikarya were found in the dorso-lateral parts of the medial and tuberal hypothalamus. Positive cells filled an area extending between the subincertal nucleus in the dorsal part, the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus in the ventral part, and the internal capsule and the magnocellular nucleus of the lateral hypothalamus in the lateral part. The same distribution was seen in the two strains of mice that were studied (Jackson and Swiss), and the number of immunoreactive perikarya did not seem to be affected by castration or testosterone treatment. No immunoreactivity could be detected in the medial regions of the preoptic area and hypothalamus; these were expected to contain the enzyme based on assays of aromatase activity performed in rats and on indirect autoradiographic evidence in mice. Our data raise questions concerning the distribution of aromatase in the brain and the mode of action of the centrally produced estrogens. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 10 (2 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailTestosterone Metabolism in the Avian Hypothalamus
Balthazart, Jacques ULg

in Journal of Steroid Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (1991), 40(4-6), 557-70

Many central actions of testosterone (T) require the transformation of T into several metabolites including 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone (5 alpha-DHT) and estradiol (E2). In birds as in mammals, 5 alpha ... [more ▼]

Many central actions of testosterone (T) require the transformation of T into several metabolites including 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone (5 alpha-DHT) and estradiol (E2). In birds as in mammals, 5 alpha-DHT and E2, alone or in combination, mimic most behavioral effects of T. The avian brain is, in addition, able to transform T into 5 beta-DHT, a metabolite which seems to be devoid of any behavioral or physiological effects, at least in the context of reproduction. By in vitro product-formation assays, we have analyzed the distribution, sex differences and regulation by steroids of the 3 main T metabolizing enzymes (aromatase, 5 alpha- and 5 beta-reductases) in the brain of the Japanese quail (Coturnix c. japonica) and the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata castanotis). In the hypothalamus of quail and finches, aromatase activity is higher in males than in females. It is also decreased by castration and increased by T. The activity of the 5 alpha-reductase is not sexually differentiated nor controlled by T. The 5 beta-reductase activity is often higher in females than in males but this difference disappears in gonadectomized birds and no clear effect of T can be observed at this level. The zebra finch brain also contains a number of steroid-sensitive telencephalic nuclei [e.g. hyperstriatum ventrale, pars caudale (HVc) and robustus archistriatalis (RA)] which play a key role in the control of vocalizations. These nuclei also contain T-metabolizing enzymes but the regulation of their activity is substantially different from what has been observed in the hypothalamus. Aromatase activity is for example higher in females than in males in HVc and RA and the enzyme in these nuclei is not affected by castration nor T treatment. In these nuclei, the 5 alpha-reductase activity is higher in males than in females and the reverse is true for the 5 beta-reductase. These sex differences in activity are not sensitive to gonadectomy and T treatment and might therefore be organized by neonatal steroids. We have been recently able to localize aromatase-immunoreactive (AR-ir) neurons by ICC in the brain of the quail and zebra finch. Positive cells are found in the preoptic area, ventromedial and tuberal hypothalamus. AR-ir material is found in the perikarya of cells and fills the entire cellular processes including axons. At the electron microscope level, immunoreactive material can clearly be observed in the synaptic boutons. This observation raises questions concerning the mode of action of estrogens produced by central aromatization of T. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 15 (1 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailEffects of the Nonsteroidal Inhibitor R76713 on Testosterone-Induced Sexual Behavior in the Japanese Quail (Coturnix Coturnix Japonica)
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Evrard, L.; Surlemont, C.

in Hormones & Behavior (1990), 24(4), 510-31

A new triazole derivative, R76713 (6-[4-chlorophenyl)(1H-1,2,4-triazol-1-yl)methyl]-1-methyl-1H- benzotriazole), was recently shown to inhibit aromatase selectively without affecting other steroid ... [more ▼]

A new triazole derivative, R76713 (6-[4-chlorophenyl)(1H-1,2,4-triazol-1-yl)methyl]-1-methyl-1H- benzotriazole), was recently shown to inhibit aromatase selectively without affecting other steroid-metabolizing enzymes and without interacting with estrogen, progestin, or androgen receptors. This compound was tested for its capacity to intefere with the induction of copulatory behavior by testosterone (T) in castrated Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica). In a first experiment, R76713 inhibited (range 0.01 to 1 mg/kg) the activation of sexual behavior by T silastic implants and hypothalamic aromatase activity in castrated male quail in a dose-dependent manner. The 5 alpha- and 5 beta- reductases of T were not systematically affected. Stereotaxic implantation of R76713 in the medial preoptic area similarly blocked the behavior activated by systemic treatment with T, demonstrating that central aromatization of androgen is implicated in the activation of behavior. These inhibiting effects of R76713 on behavior were observed when implants were placed in the medial part of the nucleus preopticus medialis, confirming the implication of this brain area in the control of male copulatory behavior. Finally, the behavioral inhibition produced by R76713 could be reversed by simultaneous treatment with a dose of estradiol, which was not behaviorally effective by itself. This suggests that the behavioral deficit induced by the inhibitor was specifically due to the suppression of estrogen production. This also shows that the activation of copulatory behavior probably results from the interaction of androgens and estrogens at the brain level, as the two treatments separately providing these hormonal stimuli (T with the aromatase inhibitor on one hand and a low dose of estradiol on the other hand) had almost no behavioral effects but they synergized to activate copulation when given concurrently. These data confirm the critical role of preoptic aromatase in the activation of reproductive behavior and demonstrate that R76713 is a useful tool for the in vivo study of estrogen-dependent processes. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 9 (1 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailDistribution of Aromatase in the Brain of the Japanese Quail, Ring Dove, and Zebra Finch: An Immunocytochemical Study
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Foidart, Agnès ULg; Surlemont, C. et al

in Journal of Comparative Neurology (1990), 301(2), 276-88

An immunocytochemical peroxidase-antiperoxidase procedure using a purified polyclonal antibody raised against human placental aromatase was used to localize aromatase-containing cells in the brain of ... [more ▼]

An immunocytochemical peroxidase-antiperoxidase procedure using a purified polyclonal antibody raised against human placental aromatase was used to localize aromatase-containing cells in the brain of three avian species: the Japanese quail, the ring dove, and the zebra finch. In quail and dove, immunoreactive cells were found only in the preoptic area and hypothalamus, with a high density of positive cells being present in the medial preoptic area, in the septal area above the anterior commissure, in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus, and in rostral part of the infundibulum. Immunoreactivity was weaker in zebra finches, and no signal could therefore be detected in the ventromedial and tuberal hypothalamus. The positive material was localized in the perikarya and in adjacent cytoplasmic processes, including the full length of axons always leaving a clear unstained cell nucleus. These features could be observed in more detail on sections cut from perfused brains and stained with an alkaline phosphatase procedure. The distribution of aromatase immunoreactivity was similar in the three species although minor differences were observed in the preoptic area. The localization of labelled neurons coincided with the distribution of aromatase activity as studied by in vitro radioenzyme assays on brain nuclei dissected by the Palkovits punch method. There was one striking exception to this rule: no immunoreactivity was detected in the zebra finch telencephalon, while assays had shown the presence of an active enzyme in several nuclei such as the robustus archistriatalis, the hyperstriatum ventrale pars caudale, and the hippocampus and area parahippocampalis. The origins of this discrepancy and the functional role of the aromatase observed in the axons are discussed. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 4 (1 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailAndrogen and Estrogen Action in the Preoptic Area and Activation of Copulatory Behavior in Quail
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Surlemont, C.

in Physiology & Behavior (1990), 48(5), 599-609

The sites of androgen and estrogen action on sexual behavior were studied in the preoptic area of castrated male Japanese quail by stereotaxic implantation of hormones, antihormones and metabolism ... [more ▼]

The sites of androgen and estrogen action on sexual behavior were studied in the preoptic area of castrated male Japanese quail by stereotaxic implantation of hormones, antihormones and metabolism inhibitors. The first experiment demonstrated that bilateral implantation of the aromatase inhibitor, androstatrienedione (ATD), in the sexually dimorphic nucleus (POM) of the preoptic area can completely suppress the behavioral activation produced by a systemic treatment with testosterone. The effects of ATD were only observed if the implants were located in the POM. In the second experiment, implants in the POM of the synthetic estrogen, diethylstilbestrol, restored copulatory behavior in castrated males while implants of the synthetic nonaromatizable androgen, methyltrienolone, were almost ineffective. During the third experiment, the activating effects of a systemic treatment with testosterone were blocked by stereotaxic implants in the POM of the antiestrogen, tamoxifen, or the antiandrogen, flutamide. The effects of tamoxifen were more pronounced than those of flutamide. In addition, tamoxifen was active in all parts of the POM while a behavioral inhibition was observed only for flutamide implants which were located in the caudal part of the nucleus. Taken together, these results demonstrate that the sexually dimorphic POM is the area where the behaviorally active estrogenic metabolites of T have to be produced. The estradiol derived from T aromatization presumably acts within the POM to activate copulation as demonstrated by the effectiveness of DES implanted in this region. Androgens also have a direct action on sexual behavior as suggested by the partial inhibition observed in flutamide-treated birds. It is, however, suggested that androgens and estrogens do not act in the same brain area to activate behavior. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 6 (1 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailCopulatory Behavior Is Controlled by the Sexually Dimorphic Nucleus of the Quail Poa
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Surlemont, C.

in Brain Research Bulletin (1990), 25(1), 7-14

The medial preoptic nucleus (POM) of the quail preoptic area is sexually dimorphic and testosterone sensitive. Stereotaxic implantation of needles filled with crystalline testosterone demonstrated that ... [more ▼]

The medial preoptic nucleus (POM) of the quail preoptic area is sexually dimorphic and testosterone sensitive. Stereotaxic implantation of needles filled with crystalline testosterone demonstrated that the POM is a critical site of steroid action in the control of copulatory behavior. Only implants located in the POM reliably restored the behavior in castrated birds. Implants around the nucleus weakly activated the behavior; those which were distant by more than 200 microns were totally inactive. Electrolytic lesions confirmed the role of the POM in the control of copulatory behavior. The percentage of the POM which was lesioned was highly correlated to the behavioral deficit while the absolute size of the lesion was not. Electrolytic lesions in or around POM also significantly decreased the volume of the nucleus suggesting that the afferents and efferents of the nucleus are required for its full development. The total volume of the POM was correlated with the sexual behavior of the birds. The morphological changes in POM observed following exposure to testosterone probably represent the signature of the behavioral effects of the steroid. The sexually dimorphic testosterone-sensitive POM is therefore an excellent animal model to study the brain-steroid interactions which mediate the activation of male reproductive behavior. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 17 (2 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailEffects of Castration and Testosterone Treatment on the Activity of Testosterone-Metabolizing Enzymes in the Brain of Male and Female Zebra Finches
Vockel, A.; Prove, E.; Balthazart, Jacques ULg

in Journal of Neurobiology (1990), 21(5), 808-25

Recently, we described the distribution of testosterone-metabolizing enzymes (i.e., aromatase, 5 alpha- and 5 beta-reductases) in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) brain using a sensitive radioenzyme ... [more ▼]

Recently, we described the distribution of testosterone-metabolizing enzymes (i.e., aromatase, 5 alpha- and 5 beta-reductases) in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) brain using a sensitive radioenzyme assay combined to the Palkovits punch method. A number of sex-differences in the activity of these enzymes were observed especially in nuclei of the song-control system. The hormonal controls of these differences have now been analyzed by gonadectomizing birds of both sexes and by giving them a replacement therapy with silastic implants of testosterone (T). Five nuclei of the song system (Area X [X], nucleus magnocellularis of the anterior neostriatum [MAN], nucleus robustus archistriatalis [RA], nucleus intercollicularis [ICo], hyperstriatum ventrale, pars caudalis [HVc]) and three preoptic-hypothalamic areas (preoptic anterior [POA], periventricular magnocellular nucleus [PVM], and posterior medial hypothalamic nucleus [PMH]) were studied as well as other limbic and control non-steroid-sensitive areas. The activity of the 5 alpha-reductase was higher in males than in females for the five song-control nuclei and was not affected by the hormonal treatments. The overall activity of this enzyme was not sexually dimorphic in POA and PVM. It was higher in males than in females in intact birds only, and was reduced by gonadectomy and enhanced by T. The activity of the 5 beta-reductase was higher in females than in males in all nuclei of the song system and in POA, but was not influenced by the changes in T level. Both sex and treatment effects were observed in the control of aromatase. The production of estrogens was dimorphic (females greater than males) in RA and PMH. It was increased by T in POA, PVM, and PMH, and also in RA. These data show that some of the sex differences in T-metabolizing enzymes result from the exposure to different levels of T in adulthood (e.g., 5 alpha-reductase in POA and PVM or aromatase in PVM), whereas others persist even if birds are exposed to the same hormonal conditions. These are presumably the result of organizational effects of steroids. The steroid modulation of the aromatase might be related directly to the activation of sexual, aggressive, and nest-building behaviors, whereas the stable dimorphism in 5 alpha- and 5 beta-reductase observed in the nuclei of the song system might be one of the neurochemical bases of the sex differences in the vocal behavior of the zebra finch. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 9 (1 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailImmunocytochemical Localization of Aromatase in the Brain
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Foidart, Agnès ULg; Harada, N.

in Brain Research (1990), 514(2), 327-33

An immunocytochemical peroxidase-antiperoxidase procedure using a purified polyclonal antibody raised against human placental aromatase was used to localize aromatase-containing cells in the Japanese ... [more ▼]

An immunocytochemical peroxidase-antiperoxidase procedure using a purified polyclonal antibody raised against human placental aromatase was used to localize aromatase-containing cells in the Japanese quail brain. Immunoreactive cells were found only in the preoptic area and hypothalamus, with a high density of positive cells being present in the sexually dimorphic medial preoptic nucleus, in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus and in the infundibulum. The positive material was localized in the perikarya and in adjacent cytoplasmic processes. Aromatase-containing cells were a specific marker for the sexually dimorphic preoptic nucleus. Treatment with testosterone produced a 6-fold increase in the aromatase activity of the preoptic area and a 4-fold increase in the number of immunoreactive cells in the medial preoptic nucleus. Thus, the increase in aromatase activity observed after testosterone administration is caused by a change in enzyme concentration. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 9 (1 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailThe Induction by Testosterone of Aromatase Activity in the Preoptic Area and Activation of Copulatory Behavior
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Foidart, Agnès ULg; Hendrick, J. C.

in Physiology & Behavior (1990), 47(1), 83-94

A series of 4 experiments was designed to study the relationships between the activity of the aromatase (AA) in the preoptic area (POA) and the activation by testosterone (T) of copulatory behavior in ... [more ▼]

A series of 4 experiments was designed to study the relationships between the activity of the aromatase (AA) in the preoptic area (POA) and the activation by testosterone (T) of copulatory behavior in gonadectomized male and female Japanese quail. The induction of AA by T in the POA is dose- and time-dependent. Levels of AA seen in sexually mature males are restored in castrated birds by a treatment with 20 to 40 mm silastic T capsules which produce physiological levels of steroid in the plasma. The minimal dose of T (10 mm implant) which reliably restores copulatory behavior approximately doubles the AA in the POA. The induction of AA is significantly larger in males than in females. A significant increase in AA is observed within 16 hours after the start of the treatment with T and the induction is maximal after 48 hours. Activation of copulatory behavior follows a similar time course but occurs with a delay of 24-48 hours. These results thus suggest that, in male quail, the activity of the aromatase in the POA is a limiting factor in the activation of copulatory behavior. This idea is confirmed by direct experimentation using an aromatase inhibitor, androstatrienedione (ATD). If T-treated birds receive at the same time silastic implants filled with ATD, the activation of behavior is suppressed for at least one week. This behavioral inhibition is, as expected, accompanied and very probably caused by the inhibition of the aromatase activity in the preoptic area and anterior hypothalamus. No increase of enzyme activity over the level seen in castrates was actually detected during the first 8 days of exposure to T. A moderate increase in AA was seen on day 16 and is probably responsible for the behavioral activation which was observed at the end of the experiment. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 8 (1 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailAn Autoradiographic Study of Alpha 1-Adrenergic Receptors in the Brain of the Japanese Quail (Coturnix Coturnix Japonica)
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Ball, G. F.; McEwen, B. S.

in Cell & Tissue Research (1989), 258(3), 563-8

The neuroanatomical distribution of alpha 1-adrenergic receptors was studied in Japanese quail by quantitative in vitro autoradiography using the specific antagonist [3H]prazosin as the ligand. The ... [more ▼]

The neuroanatomical distribution of alpha 1-adrenergic receptors was studied in Japanese quail by quantitative in vitro autoradiography using the specific antagonist [3H]prazosin as the ligand. The presence of saturable (Bmax less than 200 fmol/mg protein) high affinity (Kd less than 0.12 nM) binding sites was detected by saturation analysis. High concentrations of [3H]prazosin binding sites were detected in the archistriatum/pars ventralis, the hippocampus, the cortex piriformis, the area corticoidea dorsolateralis, the dorsal thalamus, and the nucleus praetectalis. Lower concentrations were seen in the intercollicular nucleus, the lateral septum, and the posterior and tuberal hypothalamus. Very little binding was seen in the preoptic and anterior hypothalamic areas. The relatively high number of binding sites identified in the telencephalic structures agrees well with previous mammalian studies. This is in contrast with the pattern in the anterior hypothalamus where, in mammals, a number of nuclei have been reported to contain a high receptor density. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 7 (2 ULg)
Peer Reviewed
See detailCorrelation between the Sexually Dimorphic Aromatase of the Preoptic Area and Sexual Behavior in Quail: Effects of Neonatal Manipulations of the Hormonal Milieu
Balthazart, Jacques ULg

in Archives Internationales de Physiologie et de Biochimie (1989), 97(6), 465-81

The aromatase of the preoptic area is significantly more active in males than in females. This sex dimorphism in enzyme activity is still found in birds that have been gonadectomized and treated with a ... [more ▼]

The aromatase of the preoptic area is significantly more active in males than in females. This sex dimorphism in enzyme activity is still found in birds that have been gonadectomized and treated with a same dose of testosterone. This suggests that the sex difference is not the result of a differential activation by the adult hormonal environment but rather is organized neonatally by steroid hormones. As the central aromatization of testosterone is a limiting step in the activation of copulatory behavior by testosterone, the lower aromatase activity in the preoptic area of females might be responsible, at least in part, for their lower sensitivity to the activating effects of testosterone on behavior. Three experiments were carried out to determine whether early manipulations of the hormonal environment, which are known to differentiate sexual behavior, also affect in a permanent way the aromatase activity in the preoptic area. Injection of estradiol benzoate into male embryos on day 9 of incubation decreased the preoptic aromatase activity in parallel to its demasculinizing effect on behavior. Unexpectedly the same treatment tended to increase enzyme activity in females so that the physiological relevance of the observed enzymatic change remains questionable. In two independent experiments, we confirmed that neonatal ovariectomy of female quail interferes with their behavioral differentiation. Females gonadectomized at 4 days post-hatch showed significantly more male-type sexual behavior as adult in response to testosterone than females gonadectomized at the age of 5 weeks. These experiments also confirmed that the preoptic aromatase activity is higher in males than in females but no evidence for an effect of the age of gonadectomy on the enzyme activity could be obtained. The sex difference and experimental modifications observed in the aromatase activity of the preoptic area were not seen in the posterior hypothalamus demonstrating that these effects are specific. The mechanisms controlling the sex difference in aromatase activity are discussed. The difference might be organized by the action of embryonic steroids as suggested by the changes observed in males injected with estradiol benzoate in egg. Alternatively, activational mechanisms cannot be ruled out at present. In one experiment, the activity of the preoptic aromatase was positively correlated with the sexual activity of the birds.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS) [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 11 (0 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailDistribution of Estrogen Receptors in the Brain of the Japanese Quail: An Immunocytochemical Study
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Gahr, M.; Surlemont, C.

in Brain Research (1989), 501(2), 205-14

The distribution of estrogen receptors in the quail brain was investigated by immunocytochemistry using the monoclonal antibody H222SPy raised against estrogen receptors that had been isolated from a ... [more ▼]

The distribution of estrogen receptors in the quail brain was investigated by immunocytochemistry using the monoclonal antibody H222SPy raised against estrogen receptors that had been isolated from a human mammary tumor. Nuclei which contained cells labeled for estrogen receptor were identified in the telencephalon, diencephalon and mesencephalon. In particular, a high percentage of labeled cells was observed in the lateral septum, the nucleus accumbens, the preoptic medial nucleus, the supraoptic nuclei, the anterior medial hypothalamus, the paraventricular magnocellular nucleus, the caudal parts of the lateral hypothalamus and in the whole tuberal and infundibular area. A small number of weakly labeled cells was also observed in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus. Although most of the positive cells were observed in the hypothalamic and preoptic area, a few areas were also labeled in other brain regions. This was particularly the case for the nucleus taeniae, the nucleus intercollicularis and the central gray. The distribution of labeled cells in this study closely matched with the distribution of cells which accumulated radioactivity following injection of tritiated estradiol in a previous study. The distribution of cells labeled by immunocytochemistry was similar in males and females and no evidence for a quantitative dimorphism in the percentage of labeled cells could be obtained. All nuclei containing cells labeled for estrogen receptors also contain significant levels of aromatase with the exception of the ICo. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 8 (1 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailEffects of the Noradrenergic Neurotoxin Dsp-4 on Luteinizing Hormone Levels, Catecholamine Concentrations, Alpha 2-Adrenergic Receptor Binding, and Aromatase Activity in the Brain of the Japanese Quail
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Ball, G. F.

in Brain Research (1989), 492(1-2), 163-75

Previous investigations have established that DSP-4 reliably enhances the activating effects of testosterone on copulatory behavior in adult male quail. In the present study, we wanted to clarify the ... [more ▼]

Previous investigations have established that DSP-4 reliably enhances the activating effects of testosterone on copulatory behavior in adult male quail. In the present study, we wanted to clarify the neurochemical changes that parallel these behavioral effects and to determine whether DSP-4 also affects non-behavioral steroid-dependent sexually dimorphic reproductive processes. We first showed using the Palkovits microdissection technique combined with assay by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) that DSP-4 specifically depletes norepinephrine in several nuclei of the brain such as the medial preoptic nucleus, the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus or the intercollicular nucleus but leaves intact the noradrenergic innervation in other areas such as the infundibulum or nucleus accumbens. Other amines such as dopamine and serotonin were not affected by the drug. Surprisingly DSP-4 did not decrease the binding of tritiated p-aminoclonidine in any of the brain areas which were studied by quantitative autoradiography. This suggests that most of the alpha 2-adrenergic receptors are located at the postsynaptic level but alternative interpretations are discussed. Testosterone treatment of castrated birds specifically reduced the density of alpha 2-adrenergic receptors in the dorsal infundibulum and in the medial mammillary nucleus. The possible relations of this receptor change to the control of luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion are discussed. Finally it was shown that DSP-4 treatment decreases plasma LH levels (which reveals the stimulatory effect of norepinephrine on LH secretion) but increases the testosterone-induced aromatase activity in the preoptic area. This latter effect could be one of the mechanisms by which DSP-4 potentiates copulatory behavior in testosterone-treated quail. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 9 (3 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailA Dorsomedial Subdivision within the Nucleus Intercollicularis Identified in the Japanese Quail (Coturnix Coturnix Japonica) by Means of Alpha 2-Adrenergic Receptor Autoradiography and Estrogen Receptor Immunohistochemistry
Ball, G. F.; Foidart, Agnès ULg; Balthazart, Jacques ULg

in Cell & Tissue Research (1989), 257(1), 123-8

The nucleus intercollicularis is an important site in the control of vocalization in birds. In oscines, a subregion of the nucleus intercollicularis called the dorso-medial intercollicular nucleus appears ... [more ▼]

The nucleus intercollicularis is an important site in the control of vocalization in birds. In oscines, a subregion of the nucleus intercollicularis called the dorso-medial intercollicular nucleus appears to play a key role in this process because it receives the majority of the projections from the nucleus robustus archistriatalis and sends most of the projections to the motor nucleus of the hypoglossal nerve. In this paper, we present neurochemical studies of the nucleus intercollicularis in the Japanese quail which suggest the presence of heterogeneity within this structure. One rostral band contains high densities of cholinergic muscarinic receptors identified by quantitative autoradiography using tritiated N-methylscopolamine as the ligand. A caudal dorso-medial region is specifically labeled by estrogen receptors identified using immunocytochemistry and by alpha 2-adrenergic receptors which were quantified by autoradiography using tritiated para-amino-clonidine. This latter subregion is possibly equivalent to the dorso-medial intercollicular nucleus of oscines. Additional track-tracing studies should be performed to confirm this homology. The coexistence of estrogen and alpha 2-adrenergic receptors within the same structure suggests important functional connections between steroid action and catecholaminergic systems in the brain. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 20 (3 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailSexual Differentiation in Quail: Critical Period and Hormonal Specificity
Schumacher, M.; Hendrick, J. C.; Balthazart, Jacques ULg

in Hormones & Behavior (1989), 23(1), 130-49

There is a discrepancy between results showing that male quail are demasculinized by exogenous estrogens only if the treatment is given before Day 12 of egg incubation and results showing that ovariectomy ... [more ▼]

There is a discrepancy between results showing that male quail are demasculinized by exogenous estrogens only if the treatment is given before Day 12 of egg incubation and results showing that ovariectomy of females after hatching still affects their sexual differentiation which leads to the conclusion that female demasculinization by ovarian estrogens is a continuing process extending into posthatching life. The first experiment was performed to test different models which have been proposed to reconcile these apparently contradictory results. Male and female quail were treated with 0, 5, or 25 micrograms of estradiol benzoate (EB) on either Day 9 or Day 14 of embryonic life. Birds were castrated at the age of 4 days to avoid the confounding effects of postnatal gonadal hormones and were treated as adults with testosterone (T). Whereas EB-treatment demasculizined sexual behavior and cloacal gland growth of males when administered on Day 9, it was without effect on Day 14. This result confirms the presence of a "critical period" for sexual differentiation of behavior in embryonic life. However, the time course of sexual differentiation and the sensitivity to the demasculinizing actions of estrogens were not the same for different behavioral and morphological characteristics. Some dependent variables such as plasma levels of luteinizing hormone and crowing were still affected by the EB treatment on Day 14. These results show that the whole process of demasculinization is not retricted to the "critical period" ending on Day 12 of incubation. A second experiment was performed to determine if 5 beta-dihydrotestosterone (5 beta-DHT), a metabolite of testosterone, also exerts demasculinizing effects during embryonic life. A large dose of 5 beta-DHT (2 mg/egg) had no effects on behavior and morphology in males if administered on Day 9 of egg incubation. This suggests that 5 beta-DHT, which is a steroid devoid of behavioral effects in the adult bird, is also an inactive compound as far as sexual differentiation of the quail is concerned. The high 5 beta-reductase activity which was previously identified in the hypothalamus of the embryonic quail thus probably plays a protective role. By transforming testosterone into inactive nonaromatizable androgens, it prevents male embryos from being demasculinized by their endogenous testosterone acting through aromatization. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 10 (2 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailChanges in Progesterone Metabolism in the Chicken Hypothalamus During Induced Egg Laying Stop and Molting
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Verheyen, G.; Schumacher, M. et al

in General and Comparative Endocrinology (1988), 72(2), 282-95

In the present study, we have established and validated a radioenzyme assay which permits us to quantify progesterone metabolism in the chicken brain. Progesterone metabolism was then studied in five ... [more ▼]

In the present study, we have established and validated a radioenzyme assay which permits us to quantify progesterone metabolism in the chicken brain. Progesterone metabolism was then studied in five brain areas obtained by microdissection from the telencephalon (part of the lobus paraolfactorius immediately rostral to the preoptic area), the preoptic area, and the hypothalamus. Three metabolites of progesterone were produced in large amounts in these brain regions and were quantified in this study: 5 beta-pregnane-3,20-dione (5 beta-DHP) as well as its metabolite 3 alpha-hydroxy-5 beta-pregnane-20-one (5 beta,3 alpha-ol) and 5 alpha-pregnane-3,20-dione (5 alpha-DHP). The unmetabolized progesterone was also recovered and quantified. The 5 beta-reduction of progesterone (production of 5 beta-DHP and 5 beta,3 alpha-ol) was very active but its 5 alpha-reduction (production of 5 alpha-DHP) was almost absent in the lobus paraolfactorius. An opposite pattern of metabolism was found in the preoptic area and the hypothalamus (higher 5 alpha- but lower 5 beta-reductase activity). The changes in progesterone metabolism in these brain areas were then studied in groups of hens submitted to induced egg laying stop and molting. A significant decrease in progesterone 5 alpha-reduction was found in the median hypothalamus of hens during the period of molt. Simultaneously, the experimental procedures induced significant decreases in the production of 5 beta-DHP by the lobus paraolfactorius, anterior, and medial hypothalamus but induced a significant increase in the production of this metabolite in the preoptic area. These changes are likely to be involved in the control of reproductive functions including sexual behavior and secretion of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone, and a number of possible causal mechanisms are presented. These should now be tested experimentally especially in view of the very limited information which is now available on the biological effects of the metabolites of progesterone. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 35 (2 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailChanges in Serum Concentrations of Steroids During Embryonic and Post-Hatching Development of Male and Female Japanese Quail (Coturnix Coturnix Japonica)
Schumacher, M.; Sulon, Joseph ULg; Balthazart, Jacques ULg

in Journal of Endocrinology (1988), 118(1), 127-34

Serum concentrations of testosterone, 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone, oestradiol and progesterone were measured by radioimmunoassay combined with Celite chromatography in male and female Japanese quail ... [more ▼]

Serum concentrations of testosterone, 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone, oestradiol and progesterone were measured by radioimmunoassay combined with Celite chromatography in male and female Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) during the second half of embryonic life (days 9-17 of incubation) and during the first 5 weeks after hatching. The mean level of each of the four steroids was significantly affected by the age of the birds. An overall effect of sex was detected by analysis of variance only on oestradiol concentrations, with females having higher serum concentrations than males during most of the age range studied. Significant peaks of testosterone and progesterone were also detected around hatching time. These results are consistent with the view that oestradiol is the major hormone implicated in the sexual differentiation of reproductive behaviour in the quail. The relationships between the circulating concentrations of oestradiol during ontogeny and the critical period of differentiation as postulated by currently accepted models is also discussed. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 10 (0 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailNeuroanatomical Distribution of Testosterone-Metabolizing Enzymes in the Japanese Quail
Schumacher, M.; Balthazart, Jacques ULg

in Brain Research (1987), 422(1), 137-48

We describe a very sensitive and precise assay which allows one to study the metabolism of testosterone (T) in small brain nuclei dissected out according to the method of Palkovits and Brownstein. With ... [more ▼]

We describe a very sensitive and precise assay which allows one to study the metabolism of testosterone (T) in small brain nuclei dissected out according to the method of Palkovits and Brownstein. With this method, the neuroanatomical distributions of aromatase, and 5 alpha- and 5 beta-reductase activities were studied in adult male quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica). The different enzymes show different neuroanatomical distributions. Production of estradiol-17 beta (E2) was highest in the sexually dimorphic nucleus preopticus medialis (POM). We showed previously that the preoptic aromatase activity is higher in male than in female quail. As the POM is a central and very large structure within the preoptic area, the present results suggest a relationship between the neuroanatomical and the biochemical sex differences. By contrast, the production of 5 alpha-DHT was highest in the lateral hypothalamic area (LHY), the bed nucleus of the pallial commissure (BPC) and the lateral septum (SL). The 5 beta-reductase activity was highest in the lateral septum and in the ventral part of the archistriatum (AV). Moreover, there was a rostral to caudal decrease in 5 beta-reductase activity in the hypothalamus. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 9 (1 ULg)