Studies on Androgen and Estrogen Uptake by Rat Hypothalamus

  • Marietta Vertes
  • Ayalla Barnea
  • H. R. Lindner
  • R. J. B. King
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 36)


Sex hormones play a decisive role in the determination of hypothalamic function. In the neonatal rat, the “basic” condition appears to be the female type, in which the hypothalamus, at about the time of puberty, exerts a cycling effect on the sex hormone-dependent cells; this results in the estrous cycle (1,2,3). In male rats this potential cyclic activity of the hypothalamus is irreversibly switched off at, or near to birth by a process that seems to require androgen (4,5). The role of sex steroid-binding proteins in these processes has not been fully delineated and this paper will present data that is pertinent to this topic. An experimental tool that has been much used in the study of hypothalamic development is the neonatally androgenized rat. Injection of certain androgens, notably testosterone propionate, into neonatal female rats produces, in adult life, a state of persistent vaginal estrous, polyfollicular ovaries, cystic glandular hyperplasia of the uterus, sterility and male-type behavior (4,5). Pfeiffer (6), who first discovered this syndrome, thought that it was due to effects on the anterior hypophysis, but it is now known that the main effect is on the anterior hypothalamicpreoptic region of the brain, with the primary effect being on the latter region (5,6). In the adult female rat this region controls the cyclic release of gonadotrophins via the hypothalamus and anterior hypophysis.


Anterior Hypothalamus Propionate Testosterone Testosterone Propionate Preoptic Region Nuclear Uptake 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marietta Vertes
    • 1
  • Ayalla Barnea
    • 2
  • H. R. Lindner
    • 2
  • R. J. B. King
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of PhysiologyUniversity Medical SchoolPecsHungary
  2. 2.Department of BiodynamicsWeizmann Institute of ScienceRehovotIsrael
  3. 3.Department of Hormone BiochemistryImperial Cancer Research FundLondonEngland

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