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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effects of testosterone on alpha2A-adrenergic receptor expression in the rat brain.

Androgens are involved in regulation of behaviour through intracellular mechanisms owing to their receptors. Involvement of intercellular messengers such as brain norepinephrine and adrenergic receptors (ARs) is seemed to be necessary to realise hormone-dependent behavioural effects. Castration of adult male rats, which decreases copulatory activity in the animals, was accompanied by a significant increase in 3H-clonidine (alpha2-AR agonist) binding site density in the frontal cortex. The levels of mRNA for the alpha2A-ARs (measured by RT-PCR) were increased in the brainstem of castrated males in parallel to the changes in cortical ARs densities. Testosterone treatment, that activates copulatory behaviour in castrates, down regulated alpha2A-AR mRNA levels in the brainstem and 3H-clonidine binding sites densities in the cortex, where terminals of the brain stem neurones are situated. Unlike in the brainstem, castration caused a decrease in alpha2A-AR mRNA in the cortex and testosterone up-regulated this mRNA in the cortical region. The data suggested that down-regulation of alpha2-ARs densities in the cortex that is induced by testosterone can be preferentially related to alpha2-ARs subpopulation which is expressed by the brainstem neurones and imported into the cortex by axons of these neurones.[1]


  1. Effects of testosterone on alpha2A-adrenergic receptor expression in the rat brain. Dygalo, N.N., Kalinina, T.S., Sournina, N.Y., Shishkina, G.T. Psychoneuroendocrinology (2002) [Pubmed]
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