Journal of Molecular Neuroscience

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 100–108 | Cite as

Sex Differences and Laterality of Insulin Receptor Distribution in Developing Rat Hippocampus: an Immunohistochemical Study



This study aimed to compare the regional distribution of insulin receptor in various portions of newborn rat hippocampus on postnatal days 0 (P0), 7 (P7), and 14 (P14) between male/female and right/left hippocampi. We found that the number of insulin receptor (InsR)-immunoreactive-positive (InsR+) cells in CA1 continued to increase until P7 and remained unchanged thereafter. A marked increase in distribution of InsR+ cells in CA3 from P0 to P14 was observed, although there was a significant decline in the number of InsR+ cells in dentate gyrus (DG) at the same time. No differences between the right/left and male/female hippocampi were detected at P0 (P > 0.05). Seven-day-old female rats showed a higher number of labeled cells in the left than in the right hippocampus. Moreover, the differences between the number of InsR+ cells in area CA1 and CA3 were statistically significant between males and females (P < 0.05). At P14, the number of InsR+ cells was significantly higher in CA1 and DG of males, especially in the right one (P < 0.05). These results indicate the existence of a differential distribution pattern of InsR between the left/right and male/female hippocampi. Together with other mechanisms, these differences may underlie sexual dimorphism and left/right asymmetry in the hippocampus.


Insulin receptor Hippocampus Newborn rat 



This paper is based on the results of the thesis of Javad Hami Ph.D. (no. A-299) which was financially supported by the Mashhad University of Medical Sciences (MUMS) grant (no. 88463).


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anatomical SciencesSchool of Medicine, Birjand University of Medical SciencesBirjandIran
  2. 2.Hazrat Rasoul Akram HospitalTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Anatomy and Cell BiologySchool of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences (MUMS)MashhadIran
  4. 4.Medical Genetic Research Center (MGRC)School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran

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