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See detailThe dual action of estrogen hypothesis
Cornil, Charlotte ULg; Ball, Gregory F.; Balthazart, Jacques ULg

in Trends in Neurosciences (2015), 38(7), 408-16

Estradiol (E2) can act in the brain in a relatively fast manner (i.e., seconds to minutes) usually through signaling initiated at the cell membrane. Brain-derived E2 has thus been considered as another ... [more ▼]

Estradiol (E2) can act in the brain in a relatively fast manner (i.e., seconds to minutes) usually through signaling initiated at the cell membrane. Brain-derived E2 has thus been considered as another type of neurotransmitter. Recent work found that behaviors indicative of male sexual motivation are activated by estrogenic metabolites of testosterone (T) in a fast manner, while sexual performance (copulatory behavior per se) is regulated by brain E2 in a slower manner via nucleus-initiated actions. This functional division between these two types of action appears to generalize to other behavioral systems regulated by E2. We propose the dual action of estrogen hypothesis to explain this functional distinction between these two different modes of action. [less ▲]

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See detailMolecular Layers underlying cytoskeletal remodelling during cortical development
Heng, J.; Chariot, Alain ULg; Nguyen, Laurent

in Trends in Neurosciences (2010), 33

During neural development, the cytoskeleton of newborn neurons is subjected to extensive and dynamic remodelling to facilitate the sequential steps of neurogenesis, cell migration and terminal ... [more ▼]

During neural development, the cytoskeleton of newborn neurons is subjected to extensive and dynamic remodelling to facilitate the sequential steps of neurogenesis, cell migration and terminal differentiation. As we begin to elucidate the molecular mechanisms which precipitate these functions, it is clear that while common factors may be required, different configurations of the cytoskeleton prefigure the correct execution of each step, such that we can define cohorts of proteins whose functions are indispensable for the control of neuronal migration but not terminal differentiation. It has also emerged that these combinatorial protein functions are predetermined by regulated gene expression, as well as precise subcellular localisation of their protein products. We present this view in the context of recent striking data on how the cytoskeleton is regulated during the maturation of cortical neurons within the developing brain. [less ▲]

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See detailMolecular layers underlying cytoskeletal remodelling during cortcial development
Heng, Julian; Chariot, Alain ULg; Nguyen, Laurent ULg

in Trends in Neurosciences (2010)

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See detailMRI in small brains displaying extensive plasticity.
Van der Linden, A.; Van Meir, V.; Boumans, T. et al

in Trends in Neurosciences (2009)

Manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (ME-MRI), blood oxygen-level-dependent functional MRI (BOLD fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) can now be applied to animal species as small as mice or ... [more ▼]

Manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (ME-MRI), blood oxygen-level-dependent functional MRI (BOLD fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) can now be applied to animal species as small as mice or songbirds. These techniques confirmed previous findings but are also beginning to reveal new phenomena that were difficult or impossible to study previously. These imaging techniques will lead to major technical and conceptual advances in systems neurosciences. We illustrate these new developments with studies of the song control and auditory systems in songbirds, a spatially organized neuronal circuitry that mediates the acquisition, production and perception of complex learned vocalizations. This neural system is an outstanding model for studying vocal learning, brain steroid hormone action, brain plasticity and lateralization of brain function. [less ▲]

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See detailIs brain estradiol a hormone or a neurotransmitter?
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Ball, G. F.

in Trends in Neurosciences (2006), 29(5), 241-249

Mounting evidence indicates that, besides their well-known hormonal mode of action at the genetic level, estrogens such as 17 beta-estradiol also influence brain function by direct effects on neuronal ... [more ▼]

Mounting evidence indicates that, besides their well-known hormonal mode of action at the genetic level, estrogens such as 17 beta-estradiol also influence brain function by direct effects on neuronal membranes. Experimentally induced rapid changes in estradiol bioavailability in the brain have been shown to alter the expression of male sexual behavior significantly within minutes - probably too quickly to be accounted for by conventional genetic mechanisms. In parallel, recent studies indicate that aromatase, the enzyme that converts testosterone to estradiol in the brain, is expressed in presynaptic terminals and modulated within minutes by Ca2+-dependent phosphorylation. In this article, we develop the hypothesis that brain estrogens display many, if not all, functional characteristics of neuromodulators or even neurotransmitters. [less ▲]

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See detailExploring brain connectivity: a new frontier in systems neuroscience
Ramnani, Narander; Lee, Lucy; Phillips, Christophe ULg et al

in Trends in Neurosciences (2002), 25(10), 496-497

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See detailNew Insights into the Regulation and Function of Brain Estrogen Synthase (Aromatase)
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Ball, G. F.

in Trends in Neurosciences (1998), 21(6), 243-9

In the brain, conversion of androgens into estrogens by the enzyme aromatase (estrogen synthase) is a key mechanism by which testosterone regulates many physiological and behavioral processes, including ... [more ▼]

In the brain, conversion of androgens into estrogens by the enzyme aromatase (estrogen synthase) is a key mechanism by which testosterone regulates many physiological and behavioral processes, including the activation of male sexual behavior, brain sexual differentiation and negative feedback effects of steroid hormones on gonadotropin secretion. Studies on the distribution and regulation of brain aromatase have led to a new perspective on the control and function of this enzyme. A growing body of evidence indicates that the estrogen regulation of aromatase is, at least in part, trans-synaptic. Afferent catecholamine pathways appear to regulate aromatase activity in some brain areas and thereby provide a way for environmental cues to modulate this enzyme.The localization of aromatase in pre-synaptic boutons suggests possible roles for estrogens at the synapse. [less ▲]

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