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      Galanin Immunoreactivity in Mouse Basal Forebrain: Sex Differences and Discrete Projections of Galanin-Containing Cells beyond the Blood-Brain Barrier

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          The distribution of galanin-immunoreactive (GAL-IR) cell bodies in the basal forebrain of mice was investigated. The overall pattern of staining for GAL in the area of brain analyzed was similar to that reported in other species with noticeable variations. Distinctive groups of GAL-IR cells were present in the bed nucleus of stria terminalis (BNST), supraoptic nucleus, retrochiasmatic supraoptic nucleus (SOR), magnocellular paraventricular nucleus, arcuate nucleus (ARC) and the nucleus circularis which is one of the cell groups belonging to the accessory magnocellular system. Comparison of the number of GAL-IR cells between the sexes indicated sexual dimorphism in the BNST, SOR and the ARC. As compared with female mice, the mean number of GAL-IR cells/section in the BNST and the SOR was higher and that in the ARC was lower in the males. Unlike in rats, the preoptic area contained mostly scattered GAL-IR cell bodies. Intraperitoneal injection of the retrograde tracer fluoro-gold in male mice resulted in uptake of fluoro-gold by selective GAL-IR cell groups in the basal forebrain suggesting that only some of these cell groups may project outside the blood-brain barrier whereas others may be involved in intracerebral neural transmission.

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          Most cited references 15

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          Evidence for a morphological sex difference within the medial preoptic area of the rat brain.

          The present report demonstrates the existence of a marked sexual difference in the volume of an intensely staining cellular component of the medial preoptic nucleus (MPON) of the rat. Moreover, this sexual dimorphism is shown to be independent of several specific hormonal conditions in the adult, but significantly influenced, perhaps determined, by the perinatal hormone environment. Adult rats were gonadectomized and sacrificed 2 or 5-6 weeks later, or sacrificed after gonadectomy and priming with estradiol benzoate (2 microgram/day x 3) and 500 microgram progesterone, or testosterone propionate (TP, 500 microgram/day x 14), or the ingestion of propylthiouracil (0.15% of the diet) for one month, or following water deprivation for 24 h. These treatments did not affect the sexual dimorphism in the MPON and, in all groups, nuclear volume in the male animals was significantly greater than that of females whether nuclear volume was expressed in absolute terms or relative to brain weight. On the other hand, the volume of the MPON of the adult male castrated neonatally was significantly reduced when compared to that of the male castrated at the time of weaning, i.e. after the period of sexual differentiation of the brain. Consistent with the view that this nuclear region undergoes sexual differentiation is the fact that the volume of the MPON was significantly greater in female rats injected with 1 mg TP on day 4 of life than in oil-treated females. More subtle sex differences in the volume of the suprachiasmatic nucleus were also detected, as were several treatment effects. Although these differences may fall within the error of the analytical procedure, it is possible that hormone- or sex-dependent morphological differences exist elsewhere in the brain. Nevertheless, the gross sexual dimorphism in the MPON clearly demonstrates a possible morphological basis for the sexual differentiation of brain function.
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            Galanin - a novel biologically active peptide from porcine intestine.

            The isolation of a novel biologically active peptide, designated galanin, is described. The peptide was discovered by the detection of its C-terminal amide structure in porcine intestinal extract using a chemical method. It was found that galanin consists of 29 amino acids and the complete amino acid sequence is: Gly-Trp-Thr-Leu-Asn-Ser-Ala-Gly-Tyr-Leu-Leu-Gly-Pro-His-Ala-Ile-Asp-Asn-His -Arg-Ser -Phe-His-Asp-Lys-Tyr-Gly-Leu-Ala-NH2. Galanin was found to contract smooth muscle preparations from the rat and to cause a mild and sustained hyperglycemia in dog.
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              Sex differences in subregions of the medial nucleus of the amygdala and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis of the rat.

              Sex differences are described in subregions of two nuclei of the rat brain: the medical nucleus of the amygdala (MA) and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST). The volume of the posterodorsal region of the medial nucleus of the amygdala (MApd) is approximately 85% greater and the volume of the encapsulated region of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNSTenc) is approximately 97% greater in males than in females. The MApd and BNSTenc are distinct subregions of the MA and BNST. They exhibit intense uptake of gonadal hormones and are anatomically connected to each other and to other sexually dimorphic nuclei. The MA and BNST in general are involved in regulation of several sexually dimorphic functions, including aggression, sexual behavior, gonadotropin secretion and integration of olfactory information. Precise localization of sex differences in subregions of the MA and BNST, such as the MApd and BNSTenc, may facilitate understanding of the neural basis of such functions.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                January 2000
                14 January 2000
                : 71
                : 1
                : 27-33
                Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, N.Y., USA
                54517 Neuroendocrinology 2000;71:27–33
                © 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 5, References: 41, Pages: 7
                Gonadotropins and Gonadal Steroids


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