Reference : Organization and activation of behavior in quail: role of testosterone metabolism.
Scientific journals : Article
Life sciences : Zoology
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Neurosciences & behavior
Organization and activation of behavior in quail: role of testosterone metabolism.
Balthazart, Jacques mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des sciences biomédicales et précliniques > Biologie de la différenciation sexuelle du cerveau >]
Schumacher, M. [> > > >]
Journal of Experimental Zoology
Yes (verified by ORBi)
[en] Animals ; Coturnix/physiology ; Dihydrotestosterone/biosynthesis ; Estradiol/biosynthesis ; Female ; Hypothalamus/metabolism ; Male ; Quail/physiology ; Sex Differentiation ; Sexual Behavior, Animal/physiology ; Sexual Maturation ; Testosterone/metabolism
[en] In quail, the hypothalamus enzymatically transforms testosterone (T) into estradiol (E2), 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone (5 alpha-DHT), and 5 beta-dihydrotestosterone (5 beta-DHT). During the embryonic life, the 5 beta-reductase activity is very high, which probably protects the brain of males from being behaviorally demasculinized by their endogenous T. 5 beta androstanes are inactive androgens. The decrease of 5 beta reductase with age during sexual maturation corresponds to a potentiation of the effects of T as shown by experiments that compared the effects of T and 5 alpha-DHT in adult and young quail. T metabolism is also involved in the activation of male behavior in the adult. T aromatization is probably essential for behavioral activation, but nonaromatizable androgens such as methyltrienolone, and to some extent 5 alpha-DHT, can also stimulate sexual behavior in castrates. These enzymatic activities show a clear neuroanatomical localization and are sexually dimorphic. Males produce more active metabolites (E2, 5 alpha-DHT) than females, which could explain the male's greater sensitivity to T treatments. It thus appears that T metabolism is involved in the differentiation and activation of behavior in quail.

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