Rapid Modulation of Aromatase Activity by Social and Environmental Stimuli in Quail

Charlotte A. Cornil, Molly J. Dickens, Gregory F. Ball and Jacques Balthazart

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

Rapid Modulation of Aromatase Activity by Social and Environmental Stimuli in Quail

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Brain aromatase activity is largely controlled by steroids via modulation of the transcription of the aromatase gene that regulates the amount of available enzyme. Recent evidence, however, indicates that the kinetics of aromatase activity is also rapidly modulated by conformational changes of the protein. This discovery shifted the interest of research on aromatase towards much shorter physiological time scales and suggested that a mechanism is in place to allow changes in local estradiol concentration in a time frame compatible with the activation of fast non-genomic actions of estrogens. The present chapter provides evidence that this mechanism, discovered in vitro, is functionally significant in vivo. This chapter first reviews studies that identified rapid modulations of aromatase activity following social interactions or exposure to acute stress. Then, this chapter will focus on the implications of such rapid changes of local estrogens availability for the control of reproduction.

Keywords: enzymatic activity; Japanese quail; nongenomic effects; sexual behavior; stress

Chapter.  6688 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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