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Androgen receptor blockade in the MPOA or VMN: effects on male sociosexual behaviors.

Authors: Harding, SM  McGinnis, MY 
Citation: Harding SM and McGinnis MY, Physiol Behav. 2004 Jun;81(4):671-80.
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:15178162
DOI: Full-text: DOI:10.1016/j.physbeh.2004.03.008

Previously, our laboratory has shown that androgen receptors in the medial preoptic area (MPOA) and ventromedial nucleus (VMN) are necessary for copulation in male rats. The present study examined whether these receptors are required for other sociosexual behaviors. In Experiment 1, different regions of the VMN were implanted with the antiandrogen hydroxyflutamide (OHF). We found that implants located in anterodorsal portions of the VMN were more effective at inhibiting the restoration of copulation than implants in the posteroventral VMN. In Experiment 2, a second set of male rats was pretested for copulation and other sociosexual behaviors and was castrated. Experimental animals then received Silastic capsules filled with testosterone (T) plus intracranial (IC) implants filled with OHF to selectively block androgen receptors in either the MPOA or VMN. We found that androgen receptor blockade in the MPOA inhibited the restoration of copulation but had no effect on other sociosexual behaviors. OHF directed at the VMN inhibited the restoration of copulation and 50-kHz vocalizations but had no effect on scent marking. Two tests were used to assay sexual motivation: partner preference and conditioned place preference (CPP). Both methods revealed impairments in sexual motivation in the VMN group but not in animals receiving OHF in the MPOA. Taken together, these data suggest that androgen receptors in the MPOA are essential for copulatory performance, while androgen receptors in the VMN are important for copulation, sexual motivation, and androgen-dependent vocalizations.


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CRRD Object Information
CRRD ID: 10043334
Created: 2015-05-21
Species: All species
Last Modified: 2015-05-21
Status: ACTIVE


RGD is funded by grant HL64541 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute on behalf of the NIH.