A sexually dimorphic male nucleus (MN) is seen in Nissl-stained sections from the dorsal preoptic area/anterior hypothalamus (dPOA/AH) of male, but not female, ferrets. We used immunohistochemical methods to determine whether particular neuropeptides are found in cells of the MN. A sexually dimorphic cluster of galanin-immunoreactive (IR) cells was found in the dPOA/AH of ferrets killed either on embryonic day (E) 38 or in adulthood. Significantly more galanin-IR cells were distributed in the MN and in other subregions of the dPOA/AH of intact breeding males than estrous females. The density of galanin-IR cells in the dPOA/AH was significantly reduced in adult males by castration and restored to the level of intact breeding males by dally injections of testosterone propionate (TP) for 5 weeks. The same TP treatment failed to augment the density of galanin-IR cells in the dPOA/AH of adult, ovariectomized females. Computer-assisted image analysis and grid-crossing analysis showed that the area and the number of galanin-IR fibers in the dPOA/AH were significantly greater in adult females than in males, regardless of subjects concurrent steroidal condition. A cluster of galanin-IR cells was present in the dPOA/AH of males, but not females, killed on either E34 or E38. Administration of TP between E28 and E37 significantly increased the density of galanin-IR cells in the dPOA/AH of females killed on E38, up to the level seen in control males. The results suggest that the capacity of cells located in the dPOA/AH to express galanin after adult steroid exposure is sexually differentiated by the fetal action of testostorone, or its metabolite, estradiol, in males.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Journal of Comparative Neurology|
|Publication status||Published - 1997 Dec 15|
- Bed nucleus of stria terminalis
- Medial amygdala
- Ventromedial hypothalamus
ASJC Scopus subject areas