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See detailExtensive study of HD 25558, a long-period double-lined binary with two SPB components
Sódor, Á.; De Cat, P.; Wright, D. J. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2014), 438(4), 3535-3556

We carried out an extensive observational study of the Slowly Pulsating B (SPB) star, HD 25558. The ~2000 spectra obtained at different observatories, the ground-based and MOST satellite light curves ... [more ▼]

We carried out an extensive observational study of the Slowly Pulsating B (SPB) star, HD 25558. The ~2000 spectra obtained at different observatories, the ground-based and MOST satellite light curves revealed that this object is a double-lined spectroscopic binary with an orbital period of about 9 years. The observations do not allow the inference of an orbital solution. We determined the physical parameters of the components, and found that both lie within the SPB instability strip. Accordingly, both show line-profile variations due to stellar pulsations. Eleven independent frequencies were identified in the data. All the frequencies were attributed to one of the two components based on Pixel-by-pixel variability analysis of the line profiles. Spectroscopic and photometric mode identification was also performed for the frequencies of both stars. These results suggest that the inclination and rotation of the two components are rather different. The primary is a slow rotator with ~6 d period, seen at ~60 deg inclination, while the secondary rotates fast with ~1.2 d period, and is seen at ~20 inclination. Spectropolarimetric measurements revealed that the secondary component has a magnetic field with at least a few hundred Gauss strength, while no magnetic field can be detected in the primary. [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 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 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 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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