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      Androgen Effects on Tyrosine Hydroxylase Cells in the Northern Leopard Frog, Rana pipiens

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          The interaction between gonadal steroids and dopamine neurons has been examined extensively in rodent model systems. However, there have been few investigations examining the functional relation between gonadal steroids and dopaminergic systems in nonmammalian taxa, and none in amphibians. We examined the effects of testosterone (T) and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) on changes in tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactive (TH-ir) neuron number in the fore- and midbrain of male Rana pipiens, the Northern leopard frog, using a whole-mount immunohistochemical procedure. Gonadectomized males had significantly fewer TH-ir neurons in the medial preoptic area (POA), suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), and the caudal hypothalamus/posterior tubercular region (HY/TP) compared with T-implanted males. A follow-up study demonstrated that T- and DHT-implanted males had similar numbers of TH-ir neurons in these three regions compared with intact males and that all three of these groups possessed significantly more TH-ir neurons compared with gonadectomized males. These results suggest that circulating sex steroids have a significant impact on the activity of dopaminergic neurons in male R. pipiens. Although the function of these specific dopaminergic neurons is not yet known, the POA, SCN, and TP/DH are known to be integral brain regions underlying the neural control of reproductive behavior in frogs. These results suggest that dopamine may be important in controlling the behavior or neuroendocrine mechanisms of reproduction in these animals and that dopaminergic activity in these areas is regulated by gonadal steroids.

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          Most cited references 20

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          The neurobiology of sexual function.

           C Meston,  P Fröhlich (2000)
          This article provides a review of the past and current literature on the neurobiology of sexual function. The influence of endocrine, neurotransmitter, and central nervous system influences on male and female sexual function are discussed for sexual desire, arousal, and orgasm or ejaculation stages of sexual responding. Endocrine factors reviewed include the following: androgens, estrogens, progesterone, prolactin, oxytocin, cortisol, and pheromones. Neurotransmitters and neuropeptides discussed include nitric oxide, serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, opioids, acetylcholine, histamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid. Central nervous system influences on sexual function are discussed briefly with reference to brainstem regions, the hypothalamus, and the forebrain.
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            Dopamine and sexual behavior

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              Mating Vocalizations of Female Frogs: Control and Evolutionary Mechanisms

              Vocalization behaviors of anuran amphibians are universally sexually dimorphic. Usually, only male frogs give an advertisement call, while female frog calls are limited to a soft and simple release call which is specifically suppressed at mating. In a very few species, however, female frogs also give mating vocalizations. We examined possible mechanisms for control of this rare heterotypical behavior. At the peripheral level, most differences in temporal and spectral characteristics between female mating calls and the calls of conspecific males related directly to sexual dimorphisms in laryngeal and oblique muscle morphology. At the neural and hormonal level, we first developed an integrated model for control of vocalizations, based primarily on male frog data. When this model is applied to females, female mating vocalizations were most similar to male advertisement calls, rather than being modified release calls. Females may have conscripted preexisting androgen-sensitive neural pathways typically used only by males but present in both sexes. Female mating calls have been heard only during courtship and amplexus. Androgen levels in females at this time are significantly higher than even those levels in males. Because this situation is common in frogs, female mating vocalizations likely evolved independently multiple times. Character optimization suggests that mate location is the most common biological role for female mate calling, but the particular aspects of reproductive biology vary widely across species.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                July 2002
                01 July 2002
                : 76
                : 1
                : 18-27
                Departments of aZoology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oreg., and bPsychology and Institute for Neuroscience, University of Texas, Austin, Tex., USA
                63680 Neuroendocrinology 2002;76:18–27
                © 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 4, References: 64, Pages: 10
                Gonadal Steroids: Central Effects and Neurotransmitter Regulation


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