Testosterone Metabolism in Reptiles

Rachel E. Cohen and Juli Wade

in Brain Aromatase, Estrogens, and Behavior

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199841196
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979837 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Series in Behavioral Neuroendocrinology

Testosterone Metabolism in Reptiles

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In the brain, testosterone (T) can be metabolized into estradiol via the action of the aromatase enzyme, and into 5α-dihydrotestosterone via the action of the 5α-reductase (5αR) enzyme. This chapter discusses aromatase and 5αR in reptiles, with a focus on green anole lizards. The chapter examines the role of aromatase and 5αR on reproductive behavior in this species. Next the chapter examines the whole brain activity of aromatase and 5αR, as well as the mRNA distribution of these enzymes in three brain areas critical for reproduction: the preoptic area, amygdala, and ventromedial hypothalamus. Finally the chapter discusses the expression of these enzymes in juvenile anoles. Overall, the experiments presented here highlight the importance of comparative work and lay groundwork for future research that will ascertain the role of these enzymes in anoles and the extent of their regulation by T.

Keywords: amygdala; Anolis carolinensis; aromatase; 5α-reductase 1; 5α-reductase 2; green anole lizard; preoptic area; ventromedial hypothalamus

Chapter.  6749 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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