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Publications (4)24.44 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Ghrelin, a gut-brain signal, is well known to regulate energy homeostasis, food intake and appetite foremost via hypothalamic ghrelin receptors (GHS-R1A). In addition, ghrelin activates the reward systems in the brain, namely the mesolimbic dopamine system, and regulates thereby the rewarding properties of addictive drugs as well as of palatable foods. Given that the mesolimbic dopamine system mandates the reinforcing properties of addictive drugs and natural rewards, such as sexual behaviour, we hypothesize that ghrelin plays an important role for male sexual behaviour, a subject for the present studies. Herein we show that ghrelin treatment increases, whereas pharmacological suppression (using the GHSR-1A antagonist JMV2959) or genetic deletion of the GHS-R1A in male mice decreases the sexual motivation for as well as sexual behaviour with female mice in oestrus. Pre-treatment with L-dopa (a dopamine precursor) prior to treatment with JMV2959 significantly increased the preference for female mouse compared with vehicle treatment. On the contrary, treatment with 5-hydroxythyptohan (a precursor for serotonin) prior to treatment with JMV2959 decreased the sexual motivation compared to vehicle. In separate experiments, we show that ghrelin and GHS-R1A antagonism do not affect the time spent over female bedding as measured in the androgen-dependent bedding test. Collectively, these data show that the hunger hormone ghrelin and its receptor are required for normal sexual behaviour in male mice and that the effects of the ghrelin signalling system on sexual behaviour involve dopamine neurotransmission. © 2014 The Authors. Addiction Biology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society for the Study of Addiction.
    Addiction Biology 12/2014; · 5.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is an abundant steroid hormone, and its mechanism of action is yet to be determined. The aim of this study was to elucidate the importance of androgen receptors (ARs) and estrogen receptors (ERs) for DHEA function. Orchidectomized C57BL/6 mice were treated with DHEA, DHT, 17β-estradiol-3-benzoate (E2), or vehicle. Orchidectomized AR-deficient (ARKO) mice and wild-type (WT) littermates were treated with DHEA or vehicle for 2.5 weeks. At termination, bone mineral density (BMD) was evaluated, thymus and seminal vesicles were weighted, and submandibular glands (SMGs) were histologically examined. To evaluate the in vivo ER activation of the classical estrogen signaling pathway, estrogen response element reporter mice were treated with DHEA, DHT, E2, or vehicle, and a reporter gene was investigated in different sex steroid-sensitive organs after 24 hours. DHEA treatment increased trabecular BMD and thymic atrophy in both WT and ARKO mice. In WT mice, DHEA induced enlargement of glands in the SMGs, whereas this effect was absent in ARKO mice. Furthermore, DHEA was able to induce activation of classical estrogen signaling in bone, thymus, and seminal vesicles but not in the SMGs. In summary, the DHEA effects on trabecular BMD and thymus do not require signaling via AR and DHEA can activate the classical estrogen signaling in these organs. In contrast, DHEA induction of gland size in the SMGs is dependent on AR and does not involve classical estrogen signaling. Thus, both ERs and ARs are involved in mediating the effects of DHEA in an organ-dependent manner.
    Endocrinology 01/2014; · 4.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Numerous studies suggest (1) that a major physiological role of brain serotonin-containing neurons is to modulate sex steroid-driven behaviour such as sex and aggression, (2) that sex steroids influence brain serotonergic neurotransmission and (3) that brain serotonergic neurotransmission displays sexual dimorphism. Such observations indicate that an important task for brain serotonin is to either enhance or counteract sex differences in behaviour. METHODS: To test this hypothesis, we explored the effect of short-term serotonin depletion on the behaviour of adult male and female rats in a behavioural paradigm in which males and females have been shown to behave differently, i.e. the elevated plus maze. RESULTS: Two rounds of testing of untreated Wistar rats confirmed the previous observation that females make more entries into open arms (round 1, p = 0.001; round 2, p = 0.008) and spend more time on these arms (round 1, p ≤ 0.001; round 2, p = 0.006) than males; in addition, males displayed fewer entries into closed arms upon habituation, i.e. at the second round (p ≤ 0.001) than did females. Administration of the tryptophan hydroxylase inhibitor para-chloro-phenylalanine, at a regimen (300 mg/kg/day for 3 days), markedly reducing brain content of serotonin, enhanced entries upon open arms (p = 0.01) and time spent on open arms (p = 0.004) in males but exerted no such effects in females (p = 0.9 and p = 0.9, respectively); moreover, it reduced entries into closed arms in females (p ≤ 0.001) but not in males (p = 0.1). CONCLUSIONS: Serotonin depletion abolishing the sex differences observed at baseline supports the theory that serotonin aids to uphold certain sex differences in behaviour.
    Psychopharmacology 05/2013; · 3.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It has generally been assumed that bone mass is controlled by endocrine mechanisms and the local bone environment. Recent findings demonstrate that central pathways are involved in the regulation of bone mass. Estrogen is involved in the regulation of bone homeostasis and the CNS is also a target for estrogen actions. The aim of this study was to investigate in vivo the role of central estrogen receptor-α (ERα) expression for bone mass. Nestin-Cre mice were crossed with ERα(flox) mice to generate mice lacking ERα expression specifically in nervous tissue (nestin-ERα(-/-)). Bone mineral density was increased in both the trabecular and cortical bone compartments in nestin-ERα(-/-) mice compared with controls. Femoral bone strength was increased in nestin-ERα(-/-) mice, as demonstrated by increased stiffness and maximal load of failure. The high bone mass phenotype in nestin-ERα(-/-) mice was mainly caused by increased bone formation. Serum leptin levels were elevated as a result of increased leptin expression in white adipose tissue (WAT) and slightly increased amount of WAT in nestin-ERα(-/-) mice. Leptin receptor mRNA levels were reduced in the hypothalamus but not in bone. In conclusion, inactivation of central ERα signaling results in increased bone mass, demonstrating that the balance between peripheral stimulatory and central inhibitory ERα actions is important for the regulation of bone mass. We propose that the increased bone mass in nestin-ERα(-/-) mice is mediated via decreased central leptin sensitivity and thereby increased secretion of leptin from WAT, which, in turn, results in increased peripheral leptin-induced bone formation.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2012; 109(3):983-8. · 9.81 Impact Factor