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See detailc-fos down-regulation inhibits testosterone-dependent male sexual behavior and the associated learning
Niessen, Neville-Andrew ULg; Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Ball, Gregory et al

in European Journal of Neuroscience (2013)

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See detailModulation of testosterone-dependent male sexual behavior and the associated neuroplasticity.
Charlier, Thierry; Seredynski, Aurore ULg; Niessen, Neville-Andrew ULg et al

in General and Comparative Endocrinology (2013)

Steroids modulate the transcription of a multitude of genes and ultimately influence numerous aspects of reproductive behaviors. Our research investigates how one single steroid, testosterone, is able to ... [more ▼]

Steroids modulate the transcription of a multitude of genes and ultimately influence numerous aspects of reproductive behaviors. Our research investigates how one single steroid, testosterone, is able to trigger this vast number of physiological and behavioral responses. Testosterone potency can be changed locally via aromatization into 17b-estradiol which then activates estrogen receptors of the alpha and beta subtypes. We demonstrated that the independent activation of either receptor activates different aspects of male sexual behavior in Japanese quail. In addition, several studies suggest that the specificity of testosterone action on target genes transcription is related to the recruitment of specific steroid receptor coactivators. We demonstrated that the specific down-regulation of the coactivators SRC-1 or SRC-2 in the medial preoptic nucleus by antisense techniques significantly inhibits steroid-dependent male-typical copulatory behavior and the underlying neuroplasticity. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that the interaction between several steroid metabolizing enzymes, steroid receptors and their coactivators plays a key role in the control of steroid-dependent male sexual behavior and the associated neuroplasticity in quail. [less ▲]

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See detailRapid control of reproductive behaviour by locally synthesised oestrogens: focus on aromatase.
Cornil, Charlotte ULg; Seredynski, Aurore ULg; de Bournonville, Catherine ULg et al

in Journal of Neuroendocrinology (2013), 25(11), 1070-8

Oestrogens activate nucleus- and membrane-initiated signalling. Nucleus-initiated events control a wide array of physiological and behavioural responses. These effects generally take place within ... [more ▼]

Oestrogens activate nucleus- and membrane-initiated signalling. Nucleus-initiated events control a wide array of physiological and behavioural responses. These effects generally take place within relatively long periods of time (several hours to days). By contrast, membrane-initiated signalling affects a multitude of cellular functions in a much shorter timeframe (seconds to minutes). However, much less is known about their functional significance. Furthermore, the origin of the oestrogens able to trigger these acute effects is rarely examined. Finally, these two distinct types of oestrogenic actions have often been studied independently such that we do not exactly know how they cooperate to control the same response. The present review presents a synthesis of recent work carried out in our laboratory that aimed to address these issues in the context of the study of male sexual behaviour in Japanese quail, which is a considered as a suitable species for tackling these issues. The first section presents data indicating that 17b-oestradiol, or its membrane impermeable analogues, acutely enhances measures of male sexual motivation but does not affect copulatory behaviour. These effects depend on the activation of membrane-initiated events and local oestrogen production. The second part of this review discusses the regulation of brain oestrogen synthesis through post-translational modifications of the enzyme aromatase. Initially discovered in vitro, these rapid and reversible enzymatic modulations occur in vivo following variations in the social and environment context and therefore provide a mechanism of acute regulation of local oestrogen provision with a spatial and time resolution compatible with the rapid effects observed on male sexual behaviour. Finally, we discuss how these distinct modes of oestrogenic action (membrane- versus nucleus-initiated) acting in different time frames (short- versus long-term) interact to control different components (motivation versus performance) of the same behavioural response and improve reproductive fitness. [less ▲]

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See detailRAPID MODULATION OF AROMATASE ACTIVITY IN THE VERTEBRATE BRAIN
Charlier, Thierry; Cornil, Charlotte ULg; Balthazart, Jacques ULg

in Journal of Experimental Neuroscience (2013)

Numerous steroid hormones, including 17-estradiol (E2), activate rapid and transient cellular, physiological, and behavioral changes in addition to their well-described genomic effects. Aromatase is the ... [more ▼]

Numerous steroid hormones, including 17-estradiol (E2), activate rapid and transient cellular, physiological, and behavioral changes in addition to their well-described genomic effects. Aromatase is the key-limiting enzyme in the production of estrogens, and the rapid modulation of this enzymatic activity could produce rapid changes in local E2 concentrations. The mechanisms that might mediate such rapid enzymatic changes are not fully understood but are currently under intense scrutiny. Recent studies in our laboratory indicate that brain aromatase activity is rapidly inhibited by an increase in intracellular calcium concentration resulting from potassium- induced depolarization or from the activation of glutamatergic receptors. Phosphorylating conditions also reduce aromatase activity within minutes, and this inhibition is blocked by the addition of multiple protein kinase inhibitors. This rapid modulation of aromatase activity by phosphorylating conditions is a general mechanism observed in different cell types and tissues derived from a variety of spe- cies, including human aromatase expressed in various cell lines. Phosphorylation processes affect aromatase itself and do not involve changes in aromatase protein concentration. The control of aromatase activity by multiple kinases suggests that several amino acids must be concomitantly phosphorylated to modify enzymatic activity but site-directed mutagenesis of several amino acids alone or in combination has not to date revealed the identity of the targeted residue(s). Altogether, the phosphorylation processes affecting aro- matase activity provide a new general mechanism by which the concentration of estrogens can be rapidly altered in the brain. [less ▲]

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See detailCellular mechanisms controlling rapid changes in brain aromatase activity
Charlier, Thierry; Cornil, Charlotte ULg; Ball, Gregory et al

in Balthazart, Jacques; Ball, Gregory (Eds.) Brain aromatase, estrogens and behavior (2012)

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