References of "Ball, G. F"
     in
Bookmark and Share    
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailDoublecortin as a Marker of Adult Neuroplasticity in the Canary Song Control Nucleus Hvc
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Boseret, Géraldine ULg; Konkle, A. T. et al

in European Journal of Neuroscience (2008), 27(4), 801-17

It is established that in songbirds the size of several brain song control nuclei varies seasonally, based on changes in cell size, dendritic branching and, in nucleus HVC, the incorporation of newborn ... [more ▼]

It is established that in songbirds the size of several brain song control nuclei varies seasonally, based on changes in cell size, dendritic branching and, in nucleus HVC, the incorporation of newborn neurons. In the developing and adult mammalian brain, the protein doublecortin (DCX) is expressed in postmitotic neurons and, as a part of the microtubule machinery, required for neuronal migration. We recently showed that in adult canaries, DCX-immunoreactive (ir) cells are present throughout the telencephalon, but the link between DCX and the active neurogenesis observed in songbirds remained uncertain. We demonstrate here that DCX labels recently born cells in the canary telencephalon and that, in parallel with changes in HVC volume, the number of DCX-ir cells is increased specifically in the HVC of testosterone-treated males compared with castrates, and in castrated testosterone-treated males paired with a female as compared with males paired with another male. The numbers of elongated DCX-ir cells (presumptive migrating neurons) and round multipolar DCX-ir cells (differentiating neurons) were also affected by the sex of the subjects and their photoperiodic condition (photosensitive vs photostimulated vs photorefractory). Thus, in canaries the endocrine state, as well as the social or photoperiodic condition independently of variation in steroid hormone action, affects the number of cells expressing a protein involved in neuronal migration specifically in brain areas that incorporate new neurons in the telencephalon. The DCX gene may be one of the targets by which testosterone and social stimuli induce seasonal changes in the volume of song nuclei. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 34 (3 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailExpression of reelin, its receptors and its intracellular signaling protein, Disabled1 in the canary brain: relationships with the song control system.
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Voigt, C.; Boseret, Géraldine ULg et al

in Neuroscience (2008), 153(4), 944-62

Songbirds produce learned vocalizations that are controlled by a specialized network of neural structures, the song control system. Several nuclei in this song control system demonstrate a marked degree ... [more ▼]

Songbirds produce learned vocalizations that are controlled by a specialized network of neural structures, the song control system. Several nuclei in this song control system demonstrate a marked degree of adult seasonal plasticity. Nucleus volume varies seasonally based on changes in cell size or spacing, and in the case of nucleus HVC and area X on the incorporation of new neurons. Reelin, a large glycoprotein defective in reeler mice, is assumed to determine the final location of migrating neurons in the developing brain. In mammals, reelin is also expressed in the adult brain but its functions are less well characterized. We investigated the relationships between the expression of reelin and/or its receptors and the dramatic seasonal plasticity in the canary (Serinus canaria) brain. We detected a broad distribution of the reelin protein, its mRNA and the mRNAs encoding for the reelin receptors (VLDLR and ApoER2) as well as for its intracellular signaling protein, Disabled1. These different mRNAs and proteins did not display the same neuroanatomical distribution and were not clearly associated, in an exclusive manner, with telencephalic brain areas that incorporate new neurons in adulthood. Song control nuclei were associated with a particular specialized expression of reelin and its mRNA, with the reelin signal being either denser or lighter in the song nucleus than in the surrounding tissue. The density of reelin-immunoreactive structures did not seem to be affected by 4 weeks of treatment with exogenous testosterone. These observations do not provide conclusive evidence that reelin plays a prominent role in the positioning of new neurons in the adult canary brain but call for additional work on this protein analyzing its expression comparatively during development and in adulthood with a better temporal resolution at critical points in the reproductive cycle when brain plasticity is known to occur. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 13 (0 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailRapid changes in production and behavioral action of estrogens.
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Cornil, Charlotte ULg; Taziaux, Mélanie ULg et al

in Neuroscience (2006), 138(3), 783-91

It is well established that sex steroid hormones bind to nuclear receptors, which then act as transcription factors to control brain sexual differentiation and the activation of sexual behaviors ... [more ▼]

It is well established that sex steroid hormones bind to nuclear receptors, which then act as transcription factors to control brain sexual differentiation and the activation of sexual behaviors. Estrogens locally produced in the brain exert their behavioral effects in this way but mounting evidence indicates that estrogens also can influence brain functioning more rapidly via non-genomic mechanisms. We recently reported that, in Japanese quail, the activity of preoptic estrogen synthase (aromatase) can be modulated quite rapidly (within minutes) by non-genomic mechanisms, including calcium-dependent phosphorylations. Behavioral studies further demonstrated that rapid changes in estrogen bioavailability, resulting either from a single injection of a high dose of estradiol or from the acute inhibition of aromatase activity, significantly affect the expression of both appetitive and consummatory aspects of male sexual behavior with latencies ranging between 15 and 30 min. Together these data indicate that the bioavailability of estrogens in the brain can change on different time-scales (long- and short-term) that match well with the genomic and non-genomic actions of this steroid and underlie two complementary mechanisms through which estrogens modulate behavior. Estrogens produced locally in the brain should therefore be considered not only as neuroactive steroids but they also display many (if not all) functional characteristics of neuromodulators and perhaps neurotransmitters. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 30 (9 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailPlasticity in the expression of the steroid receptor coactivator 1 in the Japanese quail brain: effect of sex, testosterone, stress and time of the day.
Charlier, Thierry ULg; Ball, G. F.; Balthazart, Jacques ULg

in Neuroscience (2006), 140(4), 1381-94

Analysis of nuclear receptor action on the eukaryotic genome highlights the importance of coactivators on gene transcription. The steroid receptor coactivator-1 in particular is the focus of an intense ... [more ▼]

Analysis of nuclear receptor action on the eukaryotic genome highlights the importance of coactivators on gene transcription. The steroid receptor coactivator-1 in particular is the focus of an intense research and physiological or behavioral studies have confirmed that it plays a major role in the modulation of steroid and thyroid receptors activity. However, little is known about the regulation of steroid receptor coactivator-1 expression the brain. The goal of this study was to determine the potential factors modulating steroid receptor coactivator-1 synthesis in Japanese quail by quantification of its mRNA with real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction and of the corresponding protein via Western blotting. Contrary to previously published results from our laboratory [Charlier TD, Lakaye B, Ball GF, Balthazart J (2002) The steroid receptor coactivator SRC-1 exhibits high expression in steroid-sensitive brain areas regulating reproductive behaviors in the quail brain. Neuroendocrinology 76:297-315], we found here that sexually mature females had a higher concentration of steroid receptor coactivator-1 in the preoptic area/hypothalamus compared with males. Steroid receptor coactivator-1 expression in the male preoptic area/hypothalamus was up-regulated by testosterone and tended to be decreased by stress. We also identified a significant correlation between the time of the day and the expression of the coactivator in the optic lobes, hippocampus, telencephalon and hindbrain but the pattern of changes in expression as a function of the time of the day varied from one brain area to another. Together, these data support the idea that steroid receptor coactivator-1 is not constitutively expressed but rather is finely regulated by steroids, stress and possibly other unidentified factors. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 21 (6 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailEffects of calmodulin on aromatase activity in the preoptic area.
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Baillien, M.; Charlier, Thierry ULg et al

in Journal of Neuroendocrinology (2005), 17(10), 664-71

Oestrogens derived from the neural aromatisation of testosterone play a key role in the activation of male sexual behaviour in many vertebrates. Besides their slow action on gene transcription mediated by ... [more ▼]

Oestrogens derived from the neural aromatisation of testosterone play a key role in the activation of male sexual behaviour in many vertebrates. Besides their slow action on gene transcription mediated by the binding to nuclear receptors, oestrogens have now been recognised to have more rapid membrane-based effects on brain function. Rapid changes in aromatase activity, and hence in local oestrogen concentrations, could thus rapidly modulate behavioural responses. We previously demonstrated that calcium-dependent kinases are able to down-regulate aromatase activity after incubations of 10-15 min in phosphorylating conditions. In the present study, in quail hypothalamic homogenates, we show that Ca2+ or calmodulin alone can very rapidly change aromatase activity. Preincubation with 1 mM EGTA or with a monoclonal antibody raised against calmodulin immediately increased aromatase activity. The presence of calmodulin on aromatase purified by immunoprecipitation and electrophoresis was previously identified by western blot and two consensus binding sites for Ca2+-calmodulin are identified here on the deduced amino acid sequence of the quail brain aromatase. The rapid control of brain aromatase activity thus appears to include two mechanisms: (i) an immediate regulatory process that involves the Ca2+-calmodulin binding site and (ii) a somewhat slower phosphorylation by several protein kinases (PKC, PKA but also possibly Ca2+-calmodulin kinases) of the aromatase molecule. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 17 (3 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailSexual behavior activates the expression of the immediate early genes c-fos and Zenk (egr-1) in catecholaminergic neurons of male Japanese quail.
Charlier, Thierry ULg; Ball, G. F.; Balthazart, Jacques ULg

in Neuroscience (2005), 131(1), 13-30

We analyzed the expression of the immediate early genes c-fos and Zenk (egr-1) in the brain of male quail that were gonadally intact (I) or castrated and treated (CX+T) or not (CX) with testosterone and ... [more ▼]

We analyzed the expression of the immediate early genes c-fos and Zenk (egr-1) in the brain of male quail that were gonadally intact (I) or castrated and treated (CX+T) or not (CX) with testosterone and had been exposed for 60 min either to a sexually mature female (F), or to an empty arena (EA) or were left in their home cage (HC). Alternate sections in the brains collected 90 min after the start of behavioral interactions were stained by immunocytochemistry for the proteins FOS or ZENK alone or in association with tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), a marker of catecholaminergic neurons. C-fos and Zenk expression was statistically increased in six brain areas of sexually active birds (I+F, CX+T+F) compared with controls (CX+F, CX+T+EA, CX+T+HC), i.e. the preoptic area, bed nucleus striae terminalis, arcopallium, nucleus intercollicularis, periaqueductal gray and the ventral tegmental area. Interestingly, c-fos and Zenk expression was high in the nucleus intercollicularis, a midbrain vocal control nucleus, of I+F and CX+T+F birds that displayed copulatory behavior but emitted few crows but not in the nucleus intercollicularis of CX+T+EA birds that crowed frequently. Increases in c-fos expression were observed in TH-immunoreactive cells in the periaqueductal gray and ventral tegmental area, but not in the substantia nigra, of I+F and CX+T+F birds indicating the activation of dopaminergic neurons during sexual behavior. Together, these data confirm the implication of the steroid-sensitive preoptic area and bed nucleus striae terminalis in the control of copulation and support the notion that dopamine is involved in its control. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 32 (3 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailThe Distribution of Tyrosine Hydroxylase in the Canary Brain: Demonstration of a Specific and Sexually Dimorphic Catecholaminergic Innervation of the Telencephalic Song Control Nulcei
Appeltants, D.; Ball, G. F.; Balthazart, Jacques ULg

in Cell & Tissue Research (2001), 304(2), 237-59

Singing and the processing of auditory information related to song can be affected by experimental manipulations of catecholamine activity in the brain of zebra finches. We investigated, by ... [more ▼]

Singing and the processing of auditory information related to song can be affected by experimental manipulations of catecholamine activity in the brain of zebra finches. We investigated, by immunocytochemistry in the brain of male and female canaries, the distribution of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the rate-limiting step in the synthesis of catecholamines. Fibers immunoreactive for TH (TH-ir) were particularly abundant in the lobus parolfactorius, the paleostriatum primitivum, and the nucleus septalis lateralis. A high density of TH-ir basket-like structures was observed in the caudomedial neostriatum, an area involved in song perception and recognition. In most males, a high density of TH-ir fibers outlined the telencephalic song control nuclei including the high vocal center, the nucleus robustus archistriatalis, the nucleus interfascialis, the lateral and medial parts of the magnocellular nucleus of the anterior neostriatum, and area X of the lobus parolfactorius. The higher density of fibers immunoreactive for TH in these nuclei, compared with the surrounding telencephalon, supports the notion that the morphological evolution of the song control nuclei was accompanied by a neurochemical specialization. This specific innervation of the song control regions was, in general, not found in females. The specific presence of high densities of TH-ir fibers in the song system of male canaries and the sex difference of this innervation provide anatomical evidence in support of the claim that dopamine and/or norepinephrine play important roles in the modulation of song learning and production. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 10 (1 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailRapid and Reversible Inhibition of Brain Aromatase Activity
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Baillien, M.; Ball, G. F.

in Journal of Neuroendocrinology (2001), 13(1), 63-73

Many actions of androgens require their conversion via the enzyme aromatase into oestrogens. Changes in brain aromatase activity are thought to take place via changes in enzyme concentration mediated by ... [more ▼]

Many actions of androgens require their conversion via the enzyme aromatase into oestrogens. Changes in brain aromatase activity are thought to take place via changes in enzyme concentration mediated by effects of sex steroids on aromatase transcription. These changes are relatively slow which fits in well with the fact that oestrogens are generally viewed as slow-acting messengers that act via changes in gene transcription. More recently, fast actions of oestrogens, presumably at the level of the cell membrane, have been described both in the female brain and in the male brain after the conversion of testosterone to oestradiol. It is difficult to reconcile the slow regulation of oestrogen synthesis (that occurs via changes in aromatase concentration) with a rapid action at the membrane level. Even if fast transduction mechanisms are available, this will not result in rapid changes in brain function if the availability of the ligand does not also change rapidly. Here, we report that aromatase activity in neural tissue of male Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) is rapidly downregulated in the presence of Mg(2+), Ca(2+) and ATP in hypothalamic homogenates and in brain explants exposed to high Ca(2+) levels following a K(+)-induced depolarization or the stimulation of glutamate receptors. The K(+)-induced inhibition of aromatase activity is observed within minutes and reversible. Given that aromatase is present in presynaptic boutons, it is possible that rapidly changing levels of locally produced oestrogen are available for nongenomic regulation of neuronal physiology in a manner more akin to the action of a neuropeptide than previously hypothesized. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 8 (0 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailFos Induction in the Japanese Quail Brain after Expression of Appetitive and Consummatory Aspects of Male Sexual Behavior
Tlemcani, O.; Ball, G. F.; D'Hondt, E. et al

in Brain Research Bulletin (2000), 52(4), 249-62

We investigated the expression of Fos, the protein product of the immediate early gene c-fos in the brain of male Japanese quail after they engaged in either appetitive or consummatory sexual behavior (i ... [more ▼]

We investigated the expression of Fos, the protein product of the immediate early gene c-fos in the brain of male Japanese quail after they engaged in either appetitive or consummatory sexual behavior (i. e., copulation). For 1 h, castrated males treated with testosterone were either allowed to copulate with a female or to exhibit a learned social proximity response indicative of appetitive sexual behavior. Control birds were either left in their home cage or placed in the experimental chamber but did not exhibit the appetitive sexual behavior because they had never learned it. Fos expression was studied with an immunocytochemical procedure in two sets of adjacent sections through the entire forebrain. These sections were immunolabelled with 2 different antibodies raised against a synthetic fragment corresponding to the 21 carboxy-terminal residues of the chicken Fos sequence. Contrary to the results of a previous study in which gonadally intact birds were used, Fos induction was observed neither in the medial preoptic nucleus nor in the nucleus intercollicularis in birds that had interacted for 1 h with a female. This may be related to a lower frequency of copulation in the testosterone-implanted birds than in intact birds, or to differences in the time the brains were collected after the birds engaged in sexual behavior between the two studies (60 min in this study, 120 min in the previous study). The performance of copulation and/or appetitive sexual behavior increased the number of Fos-immunoreactive cells in the ventral hyperstriatum, medial archistriatum, and nucleus striae terminalis. These increases were observed using both antibodies, although each antibody produced minor differences in the number of Fos-immunoreactive cells observed. Using one of the antibodies, but not the other, increases in Fos immunoreactivity were also observed in the nucleus accumbens and hyperstriatum after either copulation or appetitive sexual behavior. These differences illustrate how minor technical variations in the Fos immunocytochemical procedure influence the results obtained. These differences also show that Fos induction in a number of brain regions is observed after performance of consummatory (copulation) as well as appetitive (looking at the female) sexual behavior. This induction is, therefore, not related solely to the control of copulatory acts but, presumably, also to the processing in a variety of telencephalic association areas of stimuli originating from the female. The observation that increased Fos immunoreactivity is present in birds that had learned the response indicative of appetitive sexual behavior, and not in those that had not learned the behavior, further indicates that it is not simply the sight of the female that results in this Fos induction, but the analysis of the relevant stimuli in a sexually explicit context. Conditioned neural activity resulting from a learned association between the stimulus female and the performance of copulatory behavior may also explain some aspects of the brain activation observed in birds viewing, but not allowed to interact with, the female. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 13 (0 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailIdentification of the Origin of Catecholaminergic Inputs to Hvc in Canaries by Retrograde Tract Tracing Combined with Tyrosine Hydroxylase Immunocytochemistry
Appeltants, D.; Absil, Philippe ULg; Balthazart, Jacques ULg et al

in Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy (2000), 18(3), 117-33

The telencephalic nucleus HVc (sometimes referred to as the high vocal center) plays a key role in the production and perception of birdsong. Although many afferent and efferent connections to this ... [more ▼]

The telencephalic nucleus HVc (sometimes referred to as the high vocal center) plays a key role in the production and perception of birdsong. Although many afferent and efferent connections to this nucleus have been described, it has been clear for many years, based on chemical neuroanatomical criteria, that there are projections to this nucleus that remain undescribed. A variety of methods including high performance liquid chromatography, immunohistochemistry and receptor autoradiography have identified high levels of catecholamine transmitters, the presence of enzymes involved in the synthesis of catecholamines such as tyrosine hydroxylase and a variety of catecholamine receptor sub-types in the HVc of several songbird species. However, no definitive projections to HVc have been described from cells groups known to synthesize catecholamines. These projections were analyzed in the present study by retrograde tract tracing combined with immunocytochemistry for tyrosine hydroxylase. The origin of the catecholaminergic inputs to HVc were determined based exclusively on birds in which injections of the retrograde tracer (latex fluospheres) were confined within the cytoarchitectonic boundaries of the nucleus. Retrogradely transported latex fluospheres were found mainly in cells of two dopaminergic nuclei, the mesencephalic central gray (A11) and, to a lesser extend, the area ventralis of Tsai (A10; homologous to the ventral tegmental area of mammals). A few retrogradely-labelled cells were also found in the noradrenergic nucleus subceruleus (A6). Most of these retrogradely-labelled cells were also tyrosine hydroxylase-positive. Other catecholaminergic nuclei were devoid of retrograde label. These data converge with others studies to indicate that HVc receives discrete dopaminergic and noradrenergic inputs. These inputs may influence the steroid regulation of HVc, attentional processes related to song and modulate sensory inputs to the song system. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 25 (4 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailEstrogen Receptor-Beta in Quail: Cloning, Tissue Expression and Neuroanatomical Distribution
Foidart, Agnès ULg; Lakaye, Bernard ULg; Grisar, Thierry ULg et al

in Journal of Neurobiology (1999), 40(3), 327-42

A partial estrogen receptor-beta (ERbeta) cDNA had been previously cloned and sequenced in Japanese quail. The 3'- and 5'-rapid amplification of cDNA ends techniques were used here to identify a cDNA ... [more ▼]

A partial estrogen receptor-beta (ERbeta) cDNA had been previously cloned and sequenced in Japanese quail. The 3'- and 5'-rapid amplification of cDNA ends techniques were used here to identify a cDNA sequence of the quail ERbeta that contains a complete open reading frame. For the first time in an avian species, this cDNA sequence and the corresponding amino acid sequence are described. They are compared with the known ERbeta sequences previously described in mammals and with the ERalpha sequences identified in a selection of mammalian and avian species. The analysis by Northern blotting of the ERbeta mRNA expression in the brain and kidneys revealed the presence of several transcripts. The presence of ERbeta identified by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction demonstrated a widespread distribution quite different from the distribution of ERalpha. The complete neuroanatomical distribution of ERbeta mRNA as determined by in situ hybridization with 35S- and 33P-labeled oligoprobes is also presented. Transcripts are present in many nuclei implicated in the control of reproduction such as the medial preoptic nucleus, the nucleus striae terminalis, and the nucleus taeniae, the avian homologue of the amygdala. These data demonstrate the presence of ERbeta in a nonmammalian species and indicate that the (neuro)-anatomical distribution of this receptor type has been conserved in these two classes of vertebrates. The role of this receptor in the control of reproduction and other physiological processes should now be investigated. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 14 (0 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailDistribution of Androgen Receptor-Immunoreactive Cells in the Quail Forebrain and Their Relationship with Aromatase Immunoreactivity
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Foidart, Agnès ULg; Houbart, M. et al

in Journal of Neurobiology (1998), 35(3), 323-40

The distribution of androgen receptor-like immunoreactive (AR-ir) cells in the quail brain was analyzed by immunocytochemistry with the use of the affinity-purified antibody PG-21-19A raised against a ... [more ▼]

The distribution of androgen receptor-like immunoreactive (AR-ir) cells in the quail brain was analyzed by immunocytochemistry with the use of the affinity-purified antibody PG-21-19A raised against a synthetic peptide representing the first 21 N-terminal amino acids of the rat and human AR. This antibody is known to bind to the receptor in the absence as well as in the presence of endogenous ligands, and it was therefore expected that a more complete and accurate characterization of AR-ir cells would be obtained in comparison with previous studies using an antibody that preferentially recognizes the occupied receptor. Selected sections were double labeled for aromatase (ARO) by a technique that uses alkaline phosphatase as the reporter enzyme and Fast blue as the chromogen. AR-ir material was detected in the nucleus of cells located in a variety of brain areas in the preoptic region and the hypothalamus including the medial preoptic (POM), the supraoptic, the paraventricular (PVN), and the ventromedial (VMN) nuclei, but also in the tuberculum olfactorium, the nucleus accumbens/ventral striatum, the nucleus taeniae, the tuberal hypothalamus, the substantia grisea centralis (GCt), and the locus ceruleus. Cells exhibiting a dense AR-ir label were also detected in the nucleus intercollicularis. Preincubation of the primary antibody with an excess of the synthetic peptide used for immunization completely eliminated this nuclear staining. A significant number of AR-ir cells in the POM, VMN, PVN, and tuberal hypothalamus also contained ARO-ir material in their cytoplasm. These data confirm and extend previous studies localizing AR in the avian brain, and raise questions about the possible regulation by androgens of the metabolizing enzyme aromatase. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 25 (0 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailNew Insights into the Regulation and Function of Brain Estrogen Synthase (Aromatase)
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Ball, G. F.

in Trends in Neurosciences (1998), 21(6), 243-9

In the brain, conversion of androgens into estrogens by the enzyme aromatase (estrogen synthase) is a key mechanism by which testosterone regulates many physiological and behavioral processes, including ... [more ▼]

In the brain, conversion of androgens into estrogens by the enzyme aromatase (estrogen synthase) is a key mechanism by which testosterone regulates many physiological and behavioral processes, including the activation of male sexual behavior, brain sexual differentiation and negative feedback effects of steroid hormones on gonadotropin secretion. Studies on the distribution and regulation of brain aromatase have led to a new perspective on the control and function of this enzyme. A growing body of evidence indicates that the estrogen regulation of aromatase is, at least in part, trans-synaptic. Afferent catecholamine pathways appear to regulate aromatase activity in some brain areas and thereby provide a way for environmental cues to modulate this enzyme.The localization of aromatase in pre-synaptic boutons suggests possible roles for estrogens at the synapse. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 15 (0 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailAnatomical Relationships between Aromatase and Tyrosine Hydroxylase in the Quail Brain: Double-Label Immunocytochemical Studies
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Foidart, Agnès ULg; Baillien, M. et al

in Journal of Comparative Neurology (The) (1998), 391(2), 214-26

The activation of male sexual behavior in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) requires the transformation of testosterone to 17beta-estradiol by the enzyme aromatase (estrogen synthetase). There are ... [more ▼]

The activation of male sexual behavior in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) requires the transformation of testosterone to 17beta-estradiol by the enzyme aromatase (estrogen synthetase). There are prominent sex differences in aromatase activity that may be regulated in part by sex differences in catecholaminergic activity. In this study, we investigate, with double-label immunocytochemistry methods, the anatomical relationship between the catecholamine synthesizing enzyme, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and aromatase (ARO) in the quail brain. The immunoreactivity observed for each antigen generally matched the previously described distribution. One exception is the observation that cells weakly labeled for aromatase were found widely distributed throughout the telencephalon. The presence of telencephalic aromatase was confirmed independently by radioenzymatic assays. There was an extensive overlap between the distribution of the two antigens in many brain areas. In all densely labeled aromatase-immunoreactive (ARO-ir) cell groups, including the preoptic medial nucleus, nucleus of the stria terminalis, mediobasal hypothalamus, and paleostriatum ventrale, ARO-ir cells were found in close association with TH-ir fibers. These TH-ir fibers often converged on an ARO-ir cell, and one or more TH-ir punctate structure(s) were found in close contact with nearly every densely labeled ARO-ir cell. In the telencephalon (mostly the neostriatum), all TH-ir fibers were found to be part of fiber groups that surrounded weakly immunoreactive aromatase cells. The few cells exhibiting an intracellular colocalization were detected in the anteroventral periventricular nucleus. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that catecholaminergic inputs regulate brain aromatase. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 16 (0 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailEffects of Dopamine Agonists on Appetitive and Consummatory Male Sexual Behavior in Japanese Quail
Castagna, C.; Ball, G. F.; Balthazart, Jacques ULg

in Pharmacology, Biochemistry & Behavior (1997), 58(2), 403-14

The effects of pharmacological manipulations of dopaminergic transmission on appetitive and consummatory aspects of male sexual behavior were investigated in castrated male Japanese quail treated with ... [more ▼]

The effects of pharmacological manipulations of dopaminergic transmission on appetitive and consummatory aspects of male sexual behavior were investigated in castrated male Japanese quail treated with exogenous testosterone. Appetitive male sexual behavior was assessed by measuring a learned social proximity response and consummatory behavior was assessed by measuring copulatory behavior per se. The nonselective dopamine receptor agonist, apomorphine, inhibited in a dose-dependent manner both components of male sexual behavior. Two indirect dopamine agonists were also tested. Nomifensine, a dopamine re-uptake inhibitor, decreased appetitive sexual behavior but increased the frequency of mount attempts, a measure of consummatory sexual behavior. Amfonelic acid, a compound that enhances dopaminergic tone by a complex mechanism, increased aspects of both appetitive and consummatory behaviors. These data suggest that, in quail, as in rodents, increases in dopaminergic tone facilitate both appetitive and consummatory aspects of male sexual behavior. Apomorphine may be inhibitory in quail because it acts primarily on D2-like receptors, unlike in rats, where it stimulates sexual behavior and acts primarily on D1-like receptors at low doses but interacts with D2-like receptors at higher doses. This is supported by the observation that stereotyped pecking, a behavior stimulated selectively in quail by D2 agonists, was increased by apomorphine but not by the two indirect agonists. The observed partial dissociation between the effects of these dopaminergic agonists on appetitive and consummatory sexual behaviors suggests that these two components of male sexual behavior may be controlled by the action of dopamine through different neuronal systems. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 33 (0 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailDifferential Effects of D1 and D2 Dopamine-Receptor Agonists and Antagonists on Appetitive and Consummatory Aspects of Male Sexual Behavior in Japanese Quail
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Castagna, C.; Ball, G. F.

in Physiology & Behavior (1997), 62(3), 571-80

Pharmacological studies in Japanese quail based on behavioral tests with a variety of dopaminergic compounds suggest that the activation of D2 dopamine receptors inhibits, and the activation of D1 ... [more ▼]

Pharmacological studies in Japanese quail based on behavioral tests with a variety of dopaminergic compounds suggest that the activation of D2 dopamine receptors inhibits, and the activation of D1 dopamine receptors enhances, appetitive and consummatory components of male sexual behavior. This hypothesis was tested by studying the behavioral effects of specific D1 and D2 dopaminergic-receptor agonists and antagonists in castrated male Japanese quail chronically treated with exogenous testosterone (subcutaneous Silastic implants). The effects of 5 compounds were tested: 1 D1 (SKF38393) and 2 D2 (PPHT and quinpirole) agonists, and 1 D1 (SCH23390) and 1 D2 (Spiperone) antagonist. All compounds were tested at a low and a high dose (0.1 and 1 mg/kg, respectively, for all drugs, except spiperone where the doses were 2 and 10 mg/kg). A consistent effect of all drugs on consummatory sexual behavior was observed: it was stimulated by the D1 agonist and the D2 antagonist, but inhibited by the D1 antagonist and the D2 agonists. Far fewer effects of the treatments were detected on the measures of appetitive behavior. Measures of appetitive behavior were decreased by the 2 D2 agonists, but not affected by the other treatments. These data suggest that male copulatory behavior in quail is stimulated by dopamine acting on D1 receptors, but inhibited by activation of the D2 receptor subtype. The partial dissociation observed between the effects of the same treatments on appetitive and consummatory aspects of sexual behavior also suggests that these 2 behavioral systems may be controlled by the action of dopamine on different neuronal systems. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 10 (1 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailAromatase Inhibition Blocks the Activation and Sexual Differentiation of Appetitive Male Sexual Behavior in Japanese Quail
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Castagna, C.; Ball, G. F.

in Behavioral Neuroscience (1997), 111(2), 381-97

Two experiments investigated the role of estrogens in the activation and sexual differentiation of appetitive sexual behavior (ASB) in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) as measured by a learned social ... [more ▼]

Two experiments investigated the role of estrogens in the activation and sexual differentiation of appetitive sexual behavior (ASB) in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) as measured by a learned social proximity response. Injection of the aromatase inhibitor R767 13 in castrated, testosterone (T)-treated male quail completely suppressed ASB, confirming that, like consummatory sexual behavior, ASB is mediated by T aromatization. ASB is not observed in female quail, even if they are treated with T as adults. The role of embryonic estrogens in the sexual differentiation of ASB was tested by blocking estrogen synthesis in ovo. Control male and T-treated female quail deprived of estrogens during embryonic life learned the social proximity response used to assess ASB, whereas control female quail did not, despite the presence of high T. Thus, ASB is demasculinized by the action of embryonic estrogens during ontogeny as is consummatory behavior. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 12 (0 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailDo Sex Differences in the Brain Explain Sex Differences in the Hormonal Induction of Reproductive Behavior? What 25 Years of Research on the Japanese Quail Tells Us
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Tlemcani, O.; Ball, G. F.

in Hormones & Behavior (1996), 30(4), 627-61

Early workers interested in the mechanisms mediating sex differences in morphology and behavior assumed that differences in behavior that are commonly observed between males and females result from the ... [more ▼]

Early workers interested in the mechanisms mediating sex differences in morphology and behavior assumed that differences in behavior that are commonly observed between males and females result from the sex specificity of androgens and estrogens. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 170 (1 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailDistribution of Aromatase-Immunoreactive Cells in the Forebrain of Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia Guttata): Implications for the Neural Action of Steroids and Nuclear Definition in the Avian Hypothalamus
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Absil, Philippe ULg; Foidart, Agnès ULg et al

in Journal of Neurobiology (1996), 31(2), 129-48

Cells immunoreactive for the enzyme aromatase were localized in the forebrain of male zebra finches with the use of an immunocytochemistry procedure. Two polyclonal antibodies, one directed against human ... [more ▼]

Cells immunoreactive for the enzyme aromatase were localized in the forebrain of male zebra finches with the use of an immunocytochemistry procedure. Two polyclonal antibodies, one directed against human placental aromatase and the other directed against quail recombinant aromatase, revealed a heterogeneous distribution of the enzyme in the telencephalon, diencephalon, and mesencephalon. Staining was enhanced in some birds by the administration of the nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitor, R76713 racemic Vorozole) prior to the perfusion of the birds as previously described in Japanese quail. Large numbers of cells immunoreactive for aromatase were found in nuclei in the preoptic region and in the tuberal hypothalamus. A nucleus was identified in the preoptic region based on the high density of aromatase immunoreactive cells within its boundaries that appears to be homologous to the preoptic medial nucleus (POM) described previously in Japanese quail. In several birds alternate sections were stained for immunoreactive vasotocin, a marker of the paraventricular nucleus (PVN). This information facilitated the clear separation of the POM in zebra finches from nuclei that are adjacent to the POM in the preoptic area-hypothalamus, such as the PVN and the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus. Positively staining cells were also detected widely throughout the telencephalon. Cells were discerned in the medial parts of the ventral hyperstriatum and neostriatum near the lateral ventricle and in dorsal and medial parts of the hippocampus. They were most abundant in the caudal neostriatum where they clustered in the dorsomedial neostriatum, and as a band of cells coursing along the dorsal edge of the lamina archistriatalis dorsalis. They were also present in high numbers in the ventrolateral aspect of the neostriatum and in the nucleus taeniae. None of the telencephalic vocal control nuclei had appreciable numbers of cells immunoreactive for aromatase within their boundaries, with the possible exception of a group of cells that may correspond to the medial part of the magnocellular nucleus of the neostriatum. The distribution of immunoreactive aromatase cells in the zebra finch brain is in excellent agreement with the distribution of cells expressing the mRNA for aromatase recently described in the finch telencephalon. This widespread telencephalic distribution of cells immunoreactive for aromatase has not been described in non-songbird species such as the Japanese quail, the ring dove, and the domestic fowl. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 51 (3 ULg)