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      Developmental Sex Differences in Estrogen Receptor-β mRNA Expression in the Mouse Hypothalamus/Preoptic Region

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          Estrogens play a significant role during mammalian brain development and are required for the masculinization of neuronal circuits involved in sex-specific behaviors and neuroendocrine functions. Cellular estrogen signalling is transmitted through nuclear estrogen receptors (ER) which are divided into two subforms: the ER-α as well as the recently cloned ER-β have been demonstrated in the hypothalamus. In the present study, we have analyzed the sex-specific expression of ER-β mRNA in the pre- and postnatal mouse hypothalamus/preoptic region (Hyp/POA) by semiquantitative RT-PCR. The ER-β mRNA was detectable as early as embryonic day (E) 15 in the diencephalon of both sexes. In males, levels of mRNA expression in the Hyp/POA increased until birth and remained high throughtout postnatal (P) development, whereas in females, such an increase was not observed. Significantly higher mRNA levels were detected in the male Hyp/POA from E17 until P15. Perinatal sex differences in ER-β mRNA expression coincide with higher estrogen-forming rates in the male Hyp/POA. At present, no direct evidence is available which demonstrates that estrogen signalling through ER-β is involved in brain development. However, data from our and other studies suggest a potential role for this signal transduction pathway for brain differentiation.

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          Most cited references 8

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            Comparative distribution of estrogen receptor-? and -? mRNA in the rat central nervous system

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              Differential Ligand Activation of Estrogen Receptors ER and ER at AP1 Sites

               K Paech (1997)

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                October 1998
                14 October 1998
                : 68
                : 4
                : 229-234
                Abteilung Anatomie und Zellbiologie, Universität Ulm, Germany
                54370 Neuroendocrinology 1998;68:229–234
                © 1998 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 3, References: 22, Pages: 6
                Reproductive Neuroendocrinology


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