Sexual differentiation and hormonal control of the sexually dimorphic medial preoptic nucleus in the quail.
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in Brain Research (1987), 416(1), 59-68
We recently identified a sexually dimorphic nucleus in the preoptic region of the Japanese quail, the medial preoptic nucleus (POM), which is significantly larger in males than in females. In the present ... [more ▼]
We recently identified a sexually dimorphic nucleus in the preoptic region of the Japanese quail, the medial preoptic nucleus (POM), which is significantly larger in males than in females. In the present study, we investigated the hormonal control of this morphological neuroanatomical difference and the possible relationships between the sexual dimorphism in POM volume and in copulatory behavior. Treatments which are known to affect sexual behavior were thus applied to different groups of birds and the POM volume was then measured. In one experiment, male and female quails were either gonadectomized, gonadectomized and treated with testosterone or left intact. The larger size of the POM in males was confirmed and treatments significantly affected the nucleus size which was decreased by gonadectomy and restored by testosterone treatment in both sexes to a level similar to that seen in intact males. In two other experiments, eggs were injected with estradiol benzoate on day 9 of incubation and the POM volume was measured in adulthood either in intact birds or in gonadectomized birds receiving a replacement therapy with testosterone. Despite the fact that estradiol benzoate treatment completely suppressed copulatory behavior, it did not affect the volume of the POM or slightly increased it. These data thus show that the POM volume is controlled by testosterone levels in adulthood and could thus be an interesting model for the study of the effects of steroids on the brain. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 8 (3 ULg)