Article

Testosterone metabolites differentially maintain adult morphology in a sexually dimorphic neuromuscular system.

Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Program in Neuroscience, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA.
Developmental Neurobiology (Impact Factor: 4.42). 12/2009; 70(4):206-21. DOI: 10.1002/dneu.20780
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The lumbar spinal cord of rats contains the sexually dimorphic, steroid-sensitive spinal nucleus of the bulbocavernosus (SNB). Androgens are necessary for the development of the SNB neuromuscular system, and in adulthood, continue to influence the morphology and function of the motoneurons and their target musculature. However, estrogens are also involved in the development of the SNB system, and are capable of maintaining function in adulthood. In this experiment, we assessed the ability of testosterone metabolites, estrogens and nonaromatizable androgens, to maintain neuromuscular morphology in adulthood. Motoneuron and muscle morphology was assessed in adult normal males, sham-castrated males, castrated males treated with testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, estradiol, or left untreated, and gonadally intact males treated with the 5alpha-reductase inhibitor finasteride or the aromatase inhibitor fadrozole. After 6 weeks of treatment, SNB motoneurons were retrogradely labeled with cholera toxin-HRP and reconstructed in three dimensions. Castration resulted in reductions in SNB target muscle size, soma size, and dendritic morphology. Testosterone treatment after castration maintained SNB soma size, dendritic morphology, and elevated target muscle size; dihydrotestosterone treatment also maintained SNB dendritic length, but was less effective than testosterone in maintaining both SNB soma size and target muscle weight. Treatment of intact males with finasteride or fadrozole did not alter the morphology of SNB motoneurons or their target muscles. In contrast, estradiol treatment was completely ineffective in preventing castration-induced atrophy of the SNB neuromuscular system. Together, these results suggest that the maintenance of adult motoneuron or muscle morphology is strictly mediated by androgens.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
89 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Testosterone was shown to organize brain and modulate cognitive functions. It is currently unknown whether mental rotation is also associated with prenatal testosterone exposure and testosterone-related genetic polymorphisms. The aim of our study was to analyze associations between mental rotation performance, the actual testosterone levels, the prenatal testosterone level (expressed as 2D:4D ratio) and the androgen receptor CAG repeat polymorphism in intellectually gifted boys. One hundred forty seven boys aged 10-18 years with IQ>130 were enrolled. Saliva samples were collected and used for ELISA of actual levels of salivary testosterone. The 2D:4D finger length ratio as an indicator of prenatal testosterone was measured on both hands and averaged. Amthauer mental rotation test was used for the assessment of this spatial ability. The CAG repeat polymorphism in the androgen receptor gene was analyzed using PCR and capillary electrophoresis. Linear regression revealed that 2D:4D finger length ratio and the number of CAG repeats in the androgen receptor gene were associated with mental rotation. Actual levels of testosterone did not correlate significantly with mental rotation. Multivariate analysis of covariance revealed that after adjustment of age as a confounding variable, only the effect of the genetic polymorphism was significant. The results are in line with our previous genetic analysis of intellectually gifted boys showing the importance of CAG repeat polymorphism in the androgen receptor gene. Details of the interactions between androgen signaling, testosterone levels and its metabolism especially during the prenatal development of brain function remain to be elucidated.
    Neuropsychologia 05/2013; · 3.48 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The number of fibers in skeletal muscles changes little through life; however, the cross-sectional area of its fibers is modified as result of denervation and in some muscles by castration. The pubococcygeus muscle (Pcm) participates in micturition and ejaculatory processes and its fibers cross-sectional area is reduced in castrated rats, but denervation effects remained unknown. Here, we used a model in which unilateral denervation of this muscle in gonadally intact and castrated male rats, allowed us to explore the neural and gonadal hormone effects on the cross-sectional area of its fibers. Denervation significantly reduced the mean cross-sectional area values; likewise, the percentage distribution of its fibers. We found that castration had a greater effect than denervation. Castration resulted in a lack of fibers from 2,000 to 3,999 μm(2) , while in denervation it was from 2,500 to 3,999 μm(2) . It was interpreted that the castration effect was due to a lack of the direct gonadal hormone effect on muscle fibers, and to a reduction of the indirect hormonal action in its neuromuscular complex. In denervated Pcm of gonadally intact animals these effects were present; however, in denervated but castrated animals these were absent. Thus, combined surgeries resulted in the lowest mean cross-sectional area values with a restricted fiber distribution from 500 to 1,499 μm(2) . In conclusion, the study in this important muscle showed that cross-sectional area of its fibers depends on neural and direct/indirect gonadal hormone effects. Anat Rec, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    The Anatomical Record Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology 08/2013; · 1.34 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The spinal cord of rats contains the sexually dimorphic motoneurons of the spinal nucleus of the bulbocavernosus (SNB). In males, SNB dendrites fail to grow after castration, but androgen or estrogen treatment supports dendritic growth in castrated males. Estrogenic support of SNB dendrite growth is mediated by estrogen receptors (ER) in the target muscle. ERα expression in cells lacking a basal lamina (referred to as "extra-muscle fiber cells") of the SNB target musculature coincides with the period of estrogen-dependent SNB dendrite growth. In the SNB target muscle, extra-muscle fiber ERα expression declines with age and is typically absent after postnatal (P) day 21 (P21). Given that estradiol downregulates ERα in skeletal muscle, we tested the hypothesis that depleting gonadal hormones would prevent the postnatal decline in ERα expression in the SNB target musculature. We castrated male rats at P7 and assessed ERα immunolabeling at P21; ERα expression was significantly greater in castrated males compared with normal animals. Because ERα expression in SNB target muscles mediates estrogen-dependent SNB dendrogenesis, we further hypothesized that the castration-induced increase in muscle ERα would heighten the estrogen sensitivity of SNB dendrites. Male rats were castrated at P7 and treated with estradiol from P21 to P28; estradiol treatment in castrates resulted in dendritic hypertrophy in SNB motoneurons compared with normal males. We conclude that early castration results in an increase in ERα expression in the SNB target muscle, and this upregulation of ERα supports estrogen sensitivity of SNB dendrites, allowing for hypermasculinization of SNB dendritic arbors. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol, 2013.
    Developmental Neurobiology 08/2013; · 4.42 Impact Factor

Full-text

Download
1 Download
Available from