[en] sexual dimorphism ; medial preoptic nucleus ; leucine incorporation ; sex behavior ; sex difference
[en] In Japanese quail, testosterone (T) increases the Nissl staining density in the medial preoptic nucleus (POM) in relation to the differential activation by T of copulatory behavior. The effect of T on protein synthesis was quantified here in 97 discrete brain regions by the in vivo autoradio-graphic C-14-leucine (Leu) incorporation method in adult gonadectomized male and female quail that had been treated for 4 weeks with T or left without hormone. T activated male sexual behaviors in males but not females. Overall Leu incorporation was increased by T in five brain regions, many of which contain sex steroid receptors such as the POM, archistriatum and lateral hypothalamus. T decreased Leu incorporation in the medial septum. Leu incorporation was higher in males than females in two nuclei but higher in females in three nuclei including the hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus. Significant interactions between effects of T and sex were seen in 13 nuclei: in most nuclei (n=12), T increased Leu incorporation in males but decreased it in females. The POM boundaries were defined by a denser Leu incorporation than the surrounding area and incorporation was increased by T more in males (25%) than in females (15%). These results confirm that protein synthesis in brain areas relevant to the control of sexual behavior can be affected by the sex of the subjects or their endocrine condition and that T can have differential effects in the two sexes. These anabolic changes should reflect the sexually differentiated neurochemical mechanisms mediating behavioral activation. (C) 2003 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.