STP1364

    Localization and Sex Steroid Regulation of Brain Aromatase Activity: Identification of a Positive Feedback Mechanism that may be Triggered by Environmental Cues

    Published: Jan 1999


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    Abstract

    We performed assays for aromatase activity in serial 200 μm sections of the three orthogonal planes of the brain and produced a three dimensional reconstruction of aromatase levels in Medaka (Oryzias latipes) brain. The regulation of this brain aromatase activity by sex steroids was then examined by in vivo exposure bioassays. We demonstrate that the activity of brain aromatase is localized to an area that contains the hypothalamus, a region of the brain involved in the regulation of the reproductive function. The exposure of Medaka to estradiol lead to increased brain aromatase levels; whereas, exposure to methyl-testosterone lead to decreased brain aromatase levels. The regulation of brain aromatase levels by both product and substrate may provide a sensitive trigger for environmental cues to alter sex behavior.

    Keywords:

    aromatase, brain, estrogens, androgens, sex differentiation, Medaka


    Author Information:

    Melo, AC
    Ph. D. Candidate, Marine Biomedical and Environmental Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina

    Edmunds, JSG
    Ph. D. Candidate, Marine Biomedical and Environmental Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina

    Ramsdell, JS
    Chief, Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research; National Ocean Service, Charleston, South Carolina


    Paper ID: STP15805S

    Committee/Subcommittee: E47.04

    DOI: 10.1520/STP15805S


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