Androgen concentration in motor neurons of cranial nerves and spinal cord

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Science  01 Jul 1977:
Vol. 197, Issue 4298, pp. 77-79
DOI: 10.1126/science.867053


After injection of [3H]dihydrotestosterone, a major testosterone metabolite, radioactivity is concentrated in nuclei of certain cells in the midbrain, pons, medulla oblongata, cerebellum, and spinal cord. While there is some overlap between androgen and estrogen target neuron distribution, certain motor neurons appear to be selectively labeled by androgen; in contrast, estrogen localization prevails in sensory neurons. These results may help to explain why male sexual behavior in some rodents is not fully activated with dihydrotestosterone alone but in addition requires estradiol, a testosterone metabolite.