Article

Testosterone regulation of sex steroid-related mRNAs and dopamine-related mRNAs in adolescent male rat substantia nigra

Schizophrenia Research Institute, Sydney 2021, Australia. .
BMC Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 2.85). 08/2012; 13:95. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2202-13-95
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Increased risk of schizophrenia in adolescent males indicates that a link between the development of dopamine-related psychopathology and testosterone-driven brain changes may exist. However, contradictions as to whether testosterone increases or decreases dopamine neurotransmission are found and most studies address this in adult animals. Testosterone-dependent actions in neurons are direct via activation of androgen receptors (AR) or indirect by conversion to 17β-estradiol and activation of estrogen receptors (ER). How midbrain dopamine neurons respond to sex steroids depends on the presence of sex steroid receptor(s) and the level of steroid conversion enzymes (aromatase and 5α-reductase). We investigated whether gonadectomy and sex steroid replacement could influence dopamine levels by changing tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) protein and mRNA and/or dopamine breakdown enzyme mRNA levels [catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT) and monoamine oxygenase (MAO) A and B] in the adolescent male rat substantia nigra. We hypothesized that adolescent testosterone would regulate sex steroid signaling through regulation of ER and AR mRNAs and through modulation of aromatase and 5α-reductase mRNA levels.
We find ERα and AR in midbrain dopamine neurons in adolescent male rats, indicating that dopamine neurons are poised to respond to circulating sex steroids. We report that androgens (T and DHT) increase TH protein and increase COMT, MAOA and MAOB mRNAs in the adolescent male rat substantia nigra. We report that all three sex steroids increase AR mRNA. Differential action on ER pathways, with ERα mRNA down-regulation and ERβ mRNA up-regulation by testosterone was found. 5α reductase-1 mRNA was increased by AR activation, and aromatase mRNA was decreased by gonadectomy.
We conclude that increased testosterone at adolescence can shift the balance of sex steroid signaling to favor androgenic responses through promoting conversion of T to DHT and increasing AR mRNA. Further, testosterone may increase local dopamine synthesis and metabolism, thereby changing dopamine regulation within the substantia nigra. We show that testosterone action through both AR and ERs modulates synthesis of sex steroid receptor by altering AR and ER mRNA levels in normal adolescent male substantia nigra. Increased sex steroids in the brain at adolescence may alter substantia nigra dopamine pathways, increasing vulnerability for the development of psychopathology.

0 Followers
 · 
142 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Maternal social stress during late pregnancy programs hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis hyper-responsiveness to stressors, such that adult prenatally stressed (PNS) offspring display exaggerated HPA axis responses to a physical stressor (systemic interleukin-1β; IL-1β) in adulthood, compared with controls. IL-1β acts via a noradrenergic relay from the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS) to corticotropin releasing hormone neurons in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN). Neurosteroids can reduce HPA axis responses, so allopregnanolone and 3β-androstanediol (3β-diol; 5α-reduced metabolites of progesterone and testosterone, respectively) were given subacutely (over 24 h) to PNS rats to seek reversal of the “programmed” hyper-responsive HPA phenotype. Allopregnanolone attenuated ACTH responses to IL-1β (500 ng/kg, i.v.) in PNS females, but not in PNS males. However, 3β-diol normalized HPA axis responses to IL-1β in PNS males. Impaired testosterone and progesterone metabolism or increased secretion in PNS rats was indicated by greater plasma testosterone and progesterone concentrations in male and female PNS rats, respectively. Deficits in central neurosteroid production were indicated by reduced 5α-reductase mRNA levels in both male and female PNS offspring in the NTS, and in the PVN in males. In PNS females, adenovirus-mediated gene transfer was used to upregulate expression of 5α-reductase and 3α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase mRNAs in the NTS, and this normalized hyperactive HPA axis responses to IL-1β. Thus, downregulation of neurosteroid production in the brain may underlie HPA axis hyper-responsiveness in prenatally programmed offspring, and administration of 5α-reduced steroids acutely to PNS rats overrides programming of hyperactive HPA axis responses to immune challenge in a sex-dependent manner.
    The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 01/2015; 35(2):666-677. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5104-13.2015 · 6.75 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract: Aphrodisiacs are required to improve male sexual function under stressful conditions. Due to the effects of oxidative stress and dopamine on male sexual function, we hypothesized that Moringa oleifera leaves might improve male sexual dysfunction induced by stress. Therefore, the effects on various factors playing important roles in male sexual behavior, such as antioxidant effects, the suppression of monoamine and phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5) activities, serum testosterone and corticosterone levels, and histomorphological changes in the testes, of a hy-droethanolic extract of M. oleifera leaves were investigated. Various doses of extract including 10, 50, and 250 mg/kg body weight (BW) were given orally to male Wistar rats before exposure to 12 h-immobilization stress for 7 d. The results demonstrated that the extract showed both antioxidant and monoamine oxidase type B (MAO-B) suppression activities. At 7 d of treatment, the low dose of extract improved sexual performance in stress-exposed rats by de-creasing intromission latency and increasing intromission frequency. It also suppressed PDE-5 activity, decreased serum corticosterone level, but increased serum testosterone, numbers of interstitial cells of Leydig and spermatozoa. The increased numbers of interstitial cells of Leydig and spermatozoa might have been due to the antioxidant effect of the extract. The increased sexual performance during the intromission phase might have been due to the suppression of MAO-B and PDE-5 activities and increased testosterone. Therefore, M. oleifera is a potential aphrodisiac, but further research concerning the precise underlying mechanisms is still needed.
    Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE B 03/2015; 16(3). DOI:10.1631/jzus.B1400197 · 1.29 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Sex hormones exert differential effects on a variety of sensitive tissues like the reproductive tract, gonads, liver, bone and adipose tissue, among others. In the brain, sex hormones act as neuroactive steroids regulating the function of neuroendocrine diencephalic structures like the hypothalamus. In addition, steroids can exert physiological effects upon cortical, limbic and midbrain structures, influencing different behaviors such as memory, learning, mood and reward. In the last three decades, the role of sex hormones on monoamine neurotransmitters in extra-hypothalamic areas related to motivated behaviors, learning and locomotion has been the focus of much research. The purpose of this thematic issue is to present the state of art concerning the effects of sex hormones on the neurochemical regulation of dopaminergic midbrain areas involved in neurobiological and pathological processes, such as addiction to drugs of abuse. We also discuss evidence of how neonatal exposure to sex hormones or endocrine disrupting chemicals can produce long-term changes on the neurochemical regulation of dopaminergic neurons in limbic and midbrain areas.
    Central Nervous System Agents in Medicinal Chemistry(Formerly Current Medicinal Chemistry - Central Nervous System Agents) 12/2014; 14(2).

Full-text (3 Sources)

Download
34 Downloads
Available from
May 29, 2014