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

Gonadal steroids regulate oxytocin receptors but not vasopressin receptors in the brain of male and female rats. An autoradiographical study.

The distribution and the amount of [3H]oxytocin binding were studied in the brain of adult rats of either sex, as well as in male and female castrates, some of which received injections of estradiol or testosterone. Intact males were treated with an aromatase inhibitor. Castration and inhibition of aromatase activity reduced, whereas estradiol and testosterone increased oxytocin binding, particularly in regions of the brain assumed to be involved in reproductive functions, such as the ventrolateral part of the hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus and the islands of Calleja and neighbouring cell groups. Binding of oxytocin to the uterus was also estrogen-dependent. In the same animals, we also studied the distribution of [3H]vasopressin binding sites present in the brain. It was similar in males and females, and was not affected by experimentally manipulating gonadal hormone levels. In immunocytochemical studies we noticed, as others had previously, that the vasopressin content of certain areas of the rat brain was affected by castration, whereas the oxytocin innervation was not. These results are discussed in relation to the possible functions of oxytocin in the brain and of the lack of correspondence between the immunocytochemical and the autoradiographic data.[1]


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