Article (Scientific journals)
Treatment with androgens plus estrogens cannot reverse sex differences in song and the song control nuclei in adult canaries.
Dos Santos, Ednei Barros; Ball, Gregory F; Cornil, Charlotte et al.
2022In Hormones and Behavior, 143, p. 105197
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Keywords :
Estradiol; Neurogenesis; Sex difference; Singing behavior; Song analysis; Song control system; Songbirds; Testosterone; Endocrinology; Endocrine and Autonomic Systems; Behavioral Neuroscience
Abstract :
[en] Adult treatments with testosterone (T) do not activate singing behavior nor promote growth of song control nuclei to the same extent in male and female canaries (Serinus canaria). Because T acts in part via aromatization into an estrogen and brain aromatase activity is lower in females than in males in many vertebrates, we hypothesized that this enzymatic difference might explain the sex differences seen even after exposure to the same amount of T. Three groups of castrated males and 3 groups of photoregressed females (i.e., with quiescent ovaries following exposure to short days) received either 2 empty 10 mm silastic implants, one empty implant and one implant filled with T or one implant filled with T plus one with estradiol (E2). Songs were recorded for 3 h each week for 6 weeks before brains were collected and song control nuclei volumes were measured in Nissl-stained sections. Multiple measures of song were still different in males and females following treatment with T. Co-administration of E2 did not improve these measures and even tended to inhibit some measures such as song rate and song duration. The volume of forebrain song control nuclei (HVC, RA, Area X) and the rate of neurogenesis in HVC was increased by the two steroid treatments, but remained significantly smaller in females than in males irrespective of the endocrine condition. These sex differences are thus not caused by a lower aromatization of the steroid; sex differences in canaries are probably organized either by early steroid action or by sex-specific gene regulation directly in the brain.
Disciplines :
Neurosciences & behavior
Author, co-author :
Dos Santos, Ednei Barros;  Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, GIGA Neurosciences, University of Liege, Belgium
Ball, Gregory F;  Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
Cornil, Charlotte  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > GIGA > GIGA Neurosciences - Neuroendocrinology
Balthazart, Jacques  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des sciences biomédicales et précliniques
Language :
Title :
Treatment with androgens plus estrogens cannot reverse sex differences in song and the song control nuclei in adult canaries.
Publication date :
18 May 2022
Journal title :
Hormones and Behavior
Publisher :
Academic Press Inc., United States
Volume :
Pages :
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
Funders :
NINDS - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke [US-MD] [US-MD]
Funding text :
This work was supported by a Grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Grant RO1NS104008 (to G.F.B., J.B., and C.A.C.). We thank Pr. Robert Dooling and Ed. Smith, Department of Psychology, University of Maryland in College Park for providing the MATLAB script used to analyze canary song. C.A.C. is F.R.S.-FNRS Research Director.
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