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See detailThe alpha-fetoprotein knock-out mouse model suggests that parental behavior is sexually differentiated under the influence of prenatal estradiol.
Keller, Matthieu; Pawluski, Jodi ULg; Brock, Olivier ULg et al

in Hormones & Behavior (2010)

In rodent species, sexual differentiation of the brain for many reproductive processes depends largely on estradiol. This was recently confirmed again by using the α-fetoprotein knockout (AFP-KO) mouse ... [more ▼]

In rodent species, sexual differentiation of the brain for many reproductive processes depends largely on estradiol. This was recently confirmed again by using the α-fetoprotein knockout (AFP-KO) mouse model, which lacks the protective actions of α-fetoprotein against maternal estradiol and as a result represents a good model to determine the contribution of prenatal estradiol to the sexual differentiation of the brain and behavior. In the present study, we determined whether parental responses are differentiated prenatally under the influence of estradiol. It was found that AFP-KO females showed longer latencies to retrieve pups to the nest and also exhibited lower levels of crouching over the pups in the nest in comparison to WT females. Thus our results suggest that prenatal estradiol defeminizes the parental brain in mice. [less ▲]

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