Hemispheric asymmetries in the behavioral and hormonal effects of sexually differentiating mammalian brain

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Science  22 Oct 1982:
Vol. 218, Issue 4570, pp. 391-394
DOI: 10.1126/science.7123240


Estrogen pellets were placed in either the right or left hypothalamus of newborn female rats so that only one side of this brain area was exposed to the postnatal masculinizing and defeminizing effects of the hormone. The effects of estrogen on gonadotropin secretion and reproductive behavior depended on both the region and the side of implantation. Exposure of the left hypothalamus to estrogen resulted in defeminized development. Exposure of the right hypothalamus to estrogen resulted in masculinized development. Thus the response of the developing hypothalamus to gonadal steroids may be asymmetric.