References of "Harada, N"
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See detailVariability in North Pacific intermediate and deep water ventilation during Heinrich events in two coupled climate models
Chikamoto, M. O.; Menviel, L.; Abe-Ouchi, A. et al

in Deep-Sea Research Part II, Topical Studies in Oceanography (2012), 61-64

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See detailRemoving the North Pacific halocline: effects on global climate, ocean circulation and the carbon cycle
Menviel, L.; Timmermann, A.; Timm, O. et al

in Deep-Sea Research Part II, Topical Studies in Oceanography (2012), 61-64

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See detailDeep Water Formation in the North Pacific during the Last Glacial Termination
Okazaki, Y.; Timmermann, A.; Menviel, L. et al

in Science (2010), 329

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See detailLack of estrogen increases pain in the trigeminal formalin model: a behavioural and immunocytochemical study of transgenic ArKO mice
Multon, Sylvie ULg; Pardutz, A.; Mosen, Jeanine ULg et al

in Pain (2005), 114(1-2), 257-265

In order to examine the effect of estrogen on facial pain, we first compared the face-rubbing evoked by a formalin injection in the lip of aromatase-knockout (ArKO) mice, lacking endogenous estrogen ... [more ▼]

In order to examine the effect of estrogen on facial pain, we first compared the face-rubbing evoked by a formalin injection in the lip of aromatase-knockout (ArKO) mice, lacking endogenous estrogen production, 17 beta-estradiol-treated ArKO mice (ArKO-E2) and wild-type (WT) littermates. During the 'acute' phase of pain the time spent rubbing was similar in the three groups, whereas during the following 'interphase' and the second phase of pain, grooming was increased ill ArKO mice. Estradiol-treatment restored a behaviour similar to WT group. To better understand estrogens modulation on pain processes, we examined changes in 5-HT and CGRP innervations of trigeminal nucleus caudalis (TNC) in ArKO, ArKO-E2 and WT groups sacrified during the interphase. Whereas serotonin and CGRP immunoreactivities were comparable in WT and ArKO non-injected control groups, our data showed that 9 min after formalin injection, the density of serotoninergic terminals increased significantly in WT, but not in ArKO mice, while that of CGRP-immunoreactive fibers was lower in WT than in ArKO mice on the injected side. Estradiol-treatment only partially reversed these changes in ArKO-E2 mice. We conclude that estrogen deprivation in ArKO mice can be responsible for increased nociceptive response and that it is accompanied by transmitter changes favouring pro- over anti-nociceptive mechanisms in TNC during interphase of the formalin model. That estradiol-treatment completely reverses the behavioural abnormality Suggests that estrogens absence produces chiefly functional activation-dependent changes. However, the fact that the immunohistochemical abnormalities were not totally normalized by estradiol-treatment suggested that some permanent developmental alterations may occur in ArKO mice. (c) 2005 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailActivational effects of estradiol on the arginine-vasopressin immunoreactive system in the forebrain of male mice
Allieri, F.; Sica, M.; Bakker, Julie ULg et al

in Hormones & Behavior (2004, June), 46(1), 84

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See detailRestoration of male sexual behavior by adult exogenous estrogens in male aromatase knockout mice
Bakker, Julie ULg; Honda, S.; Harada, N. et al

in Hormones & Behavior (2004), 46(1), 1-10

We previously found that male aromatase knockout (ArKO) mice that carry a targeted mutation in exons 1 and 2 of the CYP 19 gene and as a result cannot aromatize androgen to estrogen show impaired sexual ... [more ▼]

We previously found that male aromatase knockout (ArKO) mice that carry a targeted mutation in exons 1 and 2 of the CYP 19 gene and as a result cannot aromatize androgen to estrogen show impaired sexual behavior in adulthood. To determine whether this impairment was due to a lack of activation of sexual behavior by estradiol, we studied here male coital behavior as well as olfactory investigation of sexually relevant odors in male ArKO mice following adult treatment with estradiol benzoate (EB) or dihydrotestosterone propionate (DHTP). Again, we found that gonadally intact ArKO males show pronounced behavioral deficits affecting their male coital behavior as well as their olfactory investigation of volatile body odors but not that of soiled bedding. Deficits in male coital behavior were largely corrected following adult treatment with EB and the androgen DHTP, suggesting that estradiol has prominent activational effects on this behavior. By contrast, adult treatment with EB to either castrated or gonadally intact ArKO males did not stimulate olfactory investigation of volatile body odors, suggesting that this impairment may result from a lack of proper organization of this behavior during ontogeny due to the chronic lack of estrogens. In conclusion, the present studies suggest that the behavioral deficits in sexual behavior in male ArKO mice result predominantly from a lack of activation of the behavior by estrogens. This is in contrast with earlier pharmacological studies performed on rats and ferrets that have suggested strong organizational effects of estradiol on male sexual behavior. (C) 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailRelationships between aromatase activity in the brain and gonads and behavioural deficits in homozygous and heterozygous aromatase knockout mice
Bakker, Julie ULg; Baillien, M.; Honda, S. et al

in Journal of Neuroendocrinology (2004), 16(5), 483-490

The present study was carried out to determine whether aromatase knockout (ArKO) mice are completely devoid of aromatase activity in their brain and gonads and to compare aromatase activity in wild-type ... [more ▼]

The present study was carried out to determine whether aromatase knockout (ArKO) mice are completely devoid of aromatase activity in their brain and gonads and to compare aromatase activity in wild-type and ArKO mice, as well as in heterozygous (HET) mice of both sexes that were previously shown to display a variety of reproductive behaviours; at levels intermediate between wild-type and ArKO mice. Aromatase activity was extremely low, and undetectable by the tritiated water assay, in homogenates of the preoptic area-hypothalamus of adult wild-type mice, but was induced following a 12-day treatment with testosterone. The induction of aromatase activity by testosterone was significantly larger in males than in females. Even after 12 days exposure to testosterone, no aromatase activity was detected in the brain of ArKO mice of either sex whereas HET mice showed intermediate levels of activity between ArKO and wild-type. Aromatase activity was also undetectable in the ovary of adult ArKO females but was very high in the wildtype ovary and intermediate in the HET ovary. In wild-type mice, a high level of aromatase activity was detected on the day of birth even without pretreatment with testosterone. This neonatal activity was higher in males than in females, but females nevertheless appear to display a substantial level of oestrogen production in their brain. Aromatase activity was undetectable in the brain of newborn ArKO males and females and was intermediate between wild-type and ArKO in HET mice. In conclusion, the present study confirms that ArKO mice are unable to synthesize any oestrogens, thereby validating the ArKO mouse as a valuable tool in the study of the physiological roles of oestradiol. In addition, it demonstrates that the intermediate behaviour of HET mice presumably reflects the effect of gene dosage on aromatase expression and activity, that aromatase activity is sexually differentiated in mice during the neonatal period as well as in adulthood and, finally, that the neonatal female brain produces substantial amounts of oestrogens that could play a significant role in the sexual differentiation of the female brain early in life. [less ▲]

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See detailImmunocytochemical localization of aromatase in sensory and integrating nuclei of the hindbrain in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica)
Evrard, H. C.; Harada, N.; Balthazart, Jacques ULg

in Journal of Comparative Neurology (2004), 473(2), 194-212

The distribution of the estrogen synthesizing enzyme (aromatase) in the hindbrain (rhombencephalon and mesencephalon) of male adult quail was investigated by immunocytochemistry. Aromatase-immunoreactive ... [more ▼]

The distribution of the estrogen synthesizing enzyme (aromatase) in the hindbrain (rhombencephalon and mesencephalon) of male adult quail was investigated by immunocytochemistry. Aromatase-immunoreactive neuronal structures (perikarya and fibers bearing punctate structures) were observed in sensory (trigeminal, solitary tract, vestibular, optic tectum) and integrating (parabrachial, periaqueductal, cerulean, raphe) nuclei. Besides the expression of aromatase in these well-delineated nuclei, dense to scattered networks of immunoreactive fibers were found dispersed throughout the hindbrain and, in particular, in its rostral and dorsal parts. To a lesser extent, they were also present throughout the premotor nuclei of the reticular formation and in various fiber tracts. In contrast, no immunoreactive signal was found in motor nuclei, and in most of the statoacoustic (cerebellum, cochlear, olive, pontine, part of vestibular) nuclei. The expression of aromatase in perikarya and fibers in areas of the adult hindbrain where estrogen receptors have been identified previously suggests a role for estrogens locally produced in the regulation of sensory and integrating functions, contrary to the widespread assumption that these functions are regulated exclusively by steroids produced in the gonads. (C) 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [less ▲]

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See detailThe aromatase knockout (ArKO) mouse provides new evidence that estrogens are required for the development of the female brain
Bakker, Julie ULg; Honda, S.; Harada, N. et al

in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (2003), 1007

The classic view of sexual differentiation is that the male brain develops under the influence of testicular secretions, whereas the female brain develops in the absence of any hormonal stimulation ... [more ▼]

The classic view of sexual differentiation is that the male brain develops under the influence of testicular secretions, whereas the female brain develops in the absence of any hormonal stimulation. However, several studies have suggested a possible role of estradiol in female neural development, although they did not provide unequivocal evidence that estradiol is indispensable for the development of the female brain and behavior. As a result, the hypothesis subsequently languished because of the lack of a suitable animal model to test estrogen's possible contribution to female differentiation. The recent introduction of the aromatase knockout (ArKO) mouse, which is deficient in aromatase activity because of a targeted mutation in the CYP19 gene and therefore cannot aromatize androgen to estrogen, has provided a new opportunity to reopen the debate of whether estradiol contributes to the development of the female brain. Female ArKO mice showed reduced levels of lordosis behavior after adult treatment with estradiol and progesterone, suggesting that estradiol is required for the development of the neural mechanisms controlling this behavior in female mice. The neural systems affected may include the olfactory systems in that ArKO females also showed impairments in olfactory investigation of odors from conspecifics. Thus, the classic view of sexual differentiation, that is, the female brain develops in the absence of any hormonal secretion, needs to be re-examined. [less ▲]

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See detailSpecific innervation of aromatase neurons by substance P fibers in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord in quail
Evrard, H. C.; Willems, Evelyne ULg; Harada, N. et al

in Journal of Comparative Neurology (2003), 465(2), 309-318

The enzyme aromatase catalyzes the production of estrogens in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord where most of the nociceptive primary afferent fibers terminate. Numerous estrogen receptors are present in ... [more ▼]

The enzyme aromatase catalyzes the production of estrogens in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord where most of the nociceptive primary afferent fibers terminate. Numerous estrogen receptors are present in this area and the control of spinal aromatase activity is thought to play an important role in the estrogenic control of nociception. The coexistence of aromatase and nociceptive terminals suggests a role for aromatase cells in pain-related processes, but whether terminals releasing nociceptive neuropeptides (e.g., substance P) actually contact aromatase neurons is unknown and the factors that control spinal aromatase activity have not yet been identified. In the present study we analyzed by double-label immunocytochemistry the distribution in the Japanese quail spinal cord, of aromatase and of substance P or its receptor (neurokinin 1 receptor). All antigens were mainly localized in laminae I and II as observed in mammals. Most aromatase neurons were colocalized with neurokinin 1 receptors and were in close apposition with substance P-immunoreactive fibers. These results suggest that aromatase neurons are responsive to noxious stimulation and may participate in the control of nociception. Furthermore, spinal aromatase activity could be controlled by substance P through a regulation of the aromatase gene transcription as reported for the mouse diencephalon and/or through neurokinin 1 receptor-dependent phosphorylation of the aromatase protein. [less ▲]

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See detailChanges in the arginine-vasopressin immunoreactive systems in male mice lacking a functional aromatase gene
Plumari, L.; Viglietti-Panzica, C.; Allieri, F. et al

in Journal of Neuroendocrinology (2002), 14(12), 971-978

In male rodents, the arginine-vasopressin-immunoreactive (AVP-ir) neurones of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) and medial amygdala are controlled by plasma testosterone levels (decreased ... [more ▼]

In male rodents, the arginine-vasopressin-immunoreactive (AVP-ir) neurones of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) and medial amygdala are controlled by plasma testosterone levels (decreased after castration and restored by exogenous testosterone). AVP transcription in these nuclei is increased in adulthood by a synergistic action of the androgenic and oestrogenic metabolites of testosterone and, accordingly, androgen and oestrogen receptors are present in both BNST and medial amygdala. We used knockout mice lacking a functional aromatase enzyme (ArKO) to investigate the effects of a chronic depletion of oestrogens on the sexually dimorphic AVP system. Wild-type (WT) and ArKO male mice were perfused 48 h after an i.c.v. colchicine injection and brain sections were then processed for AVP immunocytochemistry. A prominent decrease (but not a complete suppression) of AVP-ir structures was observed in the BNST and medial amygdala of ArKO mice by comparison with the WT. Similarly, AVP-ir fibres were reduced in the lateral septum of ArKO mice and but not in the medial preoptic area, a region where the AVP system is not sexually dimorphic in rats. No change was detected in the supraoptic and suprachiasmatic nuclei. However, a decrease in AVP-ir cell numbers was however, detected in one subregion of the paraventricular nucleus. These data support the hypothesis that the steroid-sensitive sexually dimorphic AVP system of the mouse forebrain is mainly under the control of aromatized metabolites of testosterone. [less ▲]

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See detailThe aromatase knock-out mouse provides new evidence that estradiol is required during development in the female for the expression of sociosexual behaviors in adulthood
Bakker, Julie ULg; Honda, S. I.; Harada, N. et al

in Journal of Neuroscience (2002), 22(20), 9104-9112

We used estrogen-deficient aromatase knock-out (ArKO) mice to determine whether estrogens contribute to the development of the brain and behavior in females. Female mice of three different genotypes [i.e ... [more ▼]

We used estrogen-deficient aromatase knock-out (ArKO) mice to determine whether estrogens contribute to the development of the brain and behavior in females. Female mice of three different genotypes [i.e., wild type (WT), heterozygous (HET), and homozygous (ArKO)] were ovariectomized in adulthood and subsequently tested for odor preferences (choice: intact male vs estrous female) in a Y-maze. When treated with testosterone, ArKO females spent significantly less time sniffing odors (both volatile and nonvolatile) from either male or female stimuli compared with WT and HET females. When given direct access to anesthetized stimulus animals or when given a choice between odor and visual cues from both stimulus animals, ArKO females continued to spend less time investigating the stimuli compared with WT and HET females. These defects in olfactory investigation of ArKO females were partially corrected with estradiol treatment in adulthood. Estradiol-treated ArKO females no longer differed from WT and HET females in the time spent investigating either nonvolatile odors or the anogenital region of anesthetized animals. However, ArKO females still investigated volatile odors and/or visual cues less than WT and HET females. Sexual receptivity was severely impaired in ArKO females after treatments with estradiol and progesterone that successfully induced receptivity in WT and HET females. Furthermore, ArKO females showed diminished levels of male sexual behaviors, whereas WT and HET females readily mounted an estrous female. Together, these findings demonstrate that estrogen is required for normal female development. The concept that the female brain develops in the absence of any hormonal stimulation should therefore be reconsidered. [less ▲]

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See detailSexual partner preference requires a functional aromatase (Cyp19) gene in male mice
Bakker, Julie ULg; Honda, S.; Harada, N. et al

in Hormones & Behavior (2002), 42(2), 158-171

Sexual motivation, sexual partner preference, and sexual performance represent three different aspects of sexual behavior that are critical in determining the reproductive success of a species. Although ... [more ▼]

Sexual motivation, sexual partner preference, and sexual performance represent three different aspects of sexual behavior that are critical in determining the reproductive success of a species. Although the display of sexual behavior is under strict hormonal control in both sexes, the relative roles of androgen and estrogen receptors in activating the various components of male sexual behavior are still largely unknown. A recently developed mouse model that is deficient in estradiol due to targeted disruption of exons 1 and 2 of the Cyp19 gene (aromatase knockout (ArKO) mice) was used here to analyze the role of estradiol in the control of all three aspects of male sexual behavior. When tested in a Y-maze providing volatile olfactory cues, male ArKO mice did not show a preference for the odors from an estrous female over those from an intact male, whereas wildtype (WT) and heterozygous (HET) males clearly preferred to sniff estrous odors. When provided with visual and olfactory cues, male ArKO mice also failed to show a preference for an estrous female when given a choice between an estrous female and an empty arm. However, sexual partner preferences of male ArKO mice were not sex-reversed: they did not prefer to investigate an intact male over an estrous female or empty arm. Thus, male ArKO mice seemed to have general deficits in discriminating between conspecifics by using olfactory and visual cues. Male coital behavior was also severely impaired in male ArKO mice: they displayed significantly fewer mounts, intromissions, and ejaculations than WT and HET males. Latencies to first mount or intromission were also significantly longer in ArKO males compared to WT and HET males, in addition to them showing less interest in investigating olfactory and visual cues in a Y-maze, suggesting that they were sexually less motivated. However, three out of seven male ArKO mice were capable of siring litters provided they were housed with a female for a prolonged period of time. In conclusion, aromatization of testosterone to estradiol appears to be essential for sexual motivation and sexual partner preference. By contrast, estradiol may play only a limited role in the expression of male coital behaviors. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA). [less ▲]

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See detailDistribution of aromatase immunoreactivity in the forebrain of red-sided garter snakes at the beginning of the winter dormancy
Krohmer, R. W.; Bieganski, G. J.; Baleckaitis, D. D. et al

in Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy (2002), 23(1), 59-71

Until recently, it has been difficult to identify the exact location of aromatase containing cells in the brain. The development of new antibodies has provided a sensitive tool to analyze the distribution ... [more ▼]

Until recently, it has been difficult to identify the exact location of aromatase containing cells in the brain. The development of new antibodies has provided a sensitive tool to analyze the distribution of aromatase immunoreactive (ARO-ir) material at a cellular level of resolution. In the present study we examined, for the first time, the distribution of ARO-ir cells in the brain of a reptile, the red-sided garter snake, at the beginning of the winter dormancy. ARO-ir cells were found at all rostro-caudal levels in the red-sided garter snake brain. Although weakly stained cells were distributed throughout the brain, more intensely immunoreactive cells were primarily concentrated in the preoptic area, anterior hypothalamus, septum and nucleus sphericus. Although androgens are elevated upon emergence from hibernation in the male red-sided garter snake, initiation of courtship behavior appears to be independent of direct androgen control. To date, the only known stimulus found to initiate courtship is a period of low temperature dormancy followed by exposure to warm temperatures. Circumstantial data, however, suggest an indirect role in the activation of male copulatory behavior for estrogenic metabolites of testosterone produced in the brain by aromatization during the winter dormancy. This study provides the first documentation of the distribution of ARO-ir cells in a reptilian species and demonstrates that while the aromatase enzyme occurs in most regions of the brain, the ARO-ir cells that appear to contain the highest concentration of enzyme are clustered in brain areas classically associated with the control of courtship behavior and mating in vertebrates. These data are consistent with the idea that estrogens locally produced in the brain may participate in some way to the activation of sexual behavior in this species also. This notion should now be experimentally tested by analyzing annual changes in aromatase activity and immunoreactivity and assessing the effects of pharmacological blockade of the enzyme activity at different times of the year. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailOntogeny of Aromatase and Tyrosine Hydroxylase Activity and of Aromatase-Immunoreactive Cells in the Preoptic Area of Male and Female Japanese Quail
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Tlemcani, O.; Harada, N. et al

in Journal of Neuroendocrinology (2000), 12(9), 853-66

The aromatization of testosterone into oestrogens plays a key role in the control of many behavioural and physiological aspects of reproduction. In the quail preoptic area (POA), aromatase activity and ... [more ▼]

The aromatization of testosterone into oestrogens plays a key role in the control of many behavioural and physiological aspects of reproduction. In the quail preoptic area (POA), aromatase activity and the number of aromatase-immunoreactive (ARO-ir) cells are sexually differentiated (males > females). This sex difference is implicated in the control of the sexually dimorphic behavioural response of quail to testosterone. We analysed the ontogenetic development of this sex difference by measuring aromatase activity and counting ARO-ir cells in the POA of males and females from day 1 post hatch to sexual maturity. We investigated in parallel another enzyme: tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate limiting step in catecholamine synthesis. Between hatching and 4 weeks of age, aromatase activity levels were low and equal in males and females. Aromatase activity then markedly increased in both sexes when subjects initiated their sexual maturation but this increase was more pronounced in males so that a marked difference in aromatase activity was present in 6 and 8 week-old subjects. Tyrosine hydroxylase activity progressively increased with age starting immediately after hatching and there was no abrupt modification in the slope of this increase when birds became sexually mature. No sex difference was detected in the activity of this enzyme. The number of ARO-ir cells in the POA progressively increased with age starting at hatching. No sex difference in ARO-ir cell numbers could be detected before subjects reached full sexual maturity. The analysis of the three-dimensional organization of ARO-ir cells in the POA revealed that, with increasing ages, ARO-ir cells acquire a progressively more lateral position: they are largely periventricular in young birds but they are found at higher density in the lateral part of the medial preoptic nucleus in adults. These data indicate that aromatase activity differentiates sexually when birds reach sexual maturity presumably under the activating effects of the increased testosterone levels in males. The number of ARO-ir cells, however, begins to increase in a non sexually differentiated manner before the rise in plasma testosterone in parallel with the increased tyrosine hydroxylase activity. Whether this temporal coincidence results from a general ontogenetic pattern or from more direct causal links remains to be established. [less ▲]

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See detailLocalization and Controls of Aromatase in the Quail Spinal Cord
Evrard, H.; Baillien, M.; Foidart, Agnès ULg et al

in Journal of Comparative Neurology (The) (2000), 423(4), 552-64

In adult male and female Japanese quail, aromatase-immunoreactive cells were identified in the spinal dorsal horns from the upper cervical segments to the lower caudal area. These immunoreactive cells are ... [more ▼]

In adult male and female Japanese quail, aromatase-immunoreactive cells were identified in the spinal dorsal horns from the upper cervical segments to the lower caudal area. These immunoreactive cells are located mostly in laminae I-III, with additional sparse cells being present in the medial part of lamina V and, at the cervical level exclusively, in lamina X around the central canal. Radioenzyme assays based on the measurement of tritiated water release confirmed the presence of substantial levels of aromatase activity throughout the rostrocaudal extent of the spinal cord. Contrary to what is observed in the brain, this enzyme activity and the number of aromatase-immunoreactive cells in five representative segments of the spinal cord are not different in sexually mature males or females and are not influenced in males by castration with or without testosterone treatment. The aromatase activity and the numbers of aromatase-immunoreactive cells per section are higher at the brachial and thoracic levels than in the cervical and lumbar segments. These experiments demonstrate for the first time the presence of local estrogen production in the spinal cord of a higher vertebrate. This production was localized in the sensory fields of the dorsal horn, where estrogen receptors have been identified previously in several avian and mammalian species, suggesting an implication of aromatase in the modulation of sensory (particularly nociceptive) processes. [less ▲]

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See detailNeuroanatomical Distribution and Variations across the Reproductive Cycle of Aromatase Activity and Aromatase-Immunoreactive Cells in the Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula Hypoleuca)
Foidart, Agnès ULg; Silverin, B.; Baillien, M. et al

in Hormones & Behavior (1998), 33(3), 180-96

The anatomical distribution and seasonal variations in aromatase activity and in the number of aromatase-immunoreactive cells were studied in the brain of free-living male pied flycatchers (Ficedula ... [more ▼]

The anatomical distribution and seasonal variations in aromatase activity and in the number of aromatase-immunoreactive cells were studied in the brain of free-living male pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca). A high aromatase activity was detected in the telencephalon and diencephalon but low to negligible levels were present in the optic lobes, cerebellum, and brain stem. In the diencephalon, most aromatase-immunoreactive cells were confined to three nuclei implicated in the control of reproductive behaviors: the medial preoptic nucleus, the nucleus of the stria terminalis, and the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus. In the telencephalon, the immunopositive cells were clustered in the medial part of the neostriatum and in the hippocampus as previously described in another songbird species, the zebra finch. No immunoreactive cells could be observed in the song control nuclei. A marked drop in aromatase activity was detected in the anterior and posterior diencephalon in the early summer when the behavior of the birds had switched from defending a territory to helping the female in feeding the nestlings. This enzymatic change is presumably controlled by the drop in plasma testosterone levels observed at that stage of the reproductive cycle. No change in enzyme activity, however, was seen at that time in other brain areas. The number of aromatase-immunoreactive cells also decreased at that time in the caudal part of the medial preoptic nucleus but not in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (an increase was even observed), suggesting that differential mechanisms control the enzyme concentration and enzyme activity in the hypothalamus. Taken together, these data suggest that changes in diencephalic aromatase activity contribute to the control of seasonal variations in reproductive behavior of male pied flycatchers but the role of the telencephalic aromatase in the control of behavior remains unclear at present. [less ▲]

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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 ▲]

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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 ▲]

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See detailLocalization of Testosterone-Sensitive and Sexually Dimorphic Aromatase-Immunoreactive Cells in the Quail Preoptic Area
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Tlemcani, O.; Harada, N.

in Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy (1996), 11(3), 147-71

The distribution of aromatase-immunoreactive cells was studied in the medial preoptic nucleus of male and female quail that were sexually mature and gonadally intact, or gonadectomized, or gonadectomized ... [more ▼]

The distribution of aromatase-immunoreactive cells was studied in the medial preoptic nucleus of male and female quail that were sexually mature and gonadally intact, or gonadectomized, or gonadectomized and treated with testosterone. The study first confirmed the existence of a significant difference in the number of aromatase-immunoreactive cells between males and females (males > females) and the marked effect of castration and testosterone treatment which, respectively, decrease and restore the number of these cells. An analysis of the distribution in space of this neurochemically defined cell population was also carried out. This study revealed that castration does not uniformly decrease the density of aromatase-immunoreactive cells, but local increases are observed in an area directly adjacent to the third ventricle. A number of new sex differences in the organization of the medial preoptic nucleus and its population of aromatase cells have, in addition, been identified. The density of aromatase-immunoreactive cells is not higher in males than in females throughout the nucleus, but a higher density of immunoreactive cells is present in the ventromedial part of the nucleus in females as compared to males. In addition, the cross-sectional area of the nucleus as defined by the population of aromatase-immunoreactive cells is larger in males than in females in its rostral part and its shape is more elongated in the dorso-ventral direction in females than in males. Some of these differences (e.g. higher density of ARC-ir cells in the ventromedial part of the female POM, shape of the nucleus) appear to be organizational in nature, because they are still present in birds exposed to the same endocrine conditions during adult life (e.g. gonadectomized and treated with a same dose of testosterone). This conclusion should now be tested by experiments manipulating the endocrine environment of quail embryos. The anatomical heterogeneity of the medial preoptic nucleus revealed by this study also suggests a functional heterogeneity and the specific roles of the medial and lateral parts of the nucleus should also be investigated. [less ▲]

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