Chapter

Rapid Effects of Estradiol on Behavioral and Physiological Responses Related to Reproduction in Male Goldfish

Richmond R. Thompson and Lisa A. Mangiamele

in Brain Aromatase, Estrogens, and Behavior

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199841196
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979837 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199841196.003.0026

Series: Oxford Series in Behavioral Neuroendocrinology

Rapid Effects of Estradiol on Behavioral and Physiological Responses Related to Reproduction in Male Goldfish

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Although estrogens clearly have rapid, nongenomic effects on cell physiology and brain function, only a few animal models have been developed in which the behavioral consequences of those mechanisms have been established. Recently, it was demonstrated that testosterone (T) can rapidly stimulate approach responses toward the visual cues of potential mates in male goldfish through a rapid mechanism (〈1 hour), and that T’s effects depend on its aromatization into estradiol (E2). Sexual stimuli induce surges in circulating T in this species, which this chapter proposes may drive the rapid behavioral effects of E2 by increasing local aromatase substrate. Furthermore, because aromatase is found in high quantities in visual pathways within the goldfish brain, the chapter suggests that these rapid hormonal effects may prime early sensory processes that increase the males’ ability to detect and/or orient towards the visual cues of potential mates. These studies indicate that T exerts rapid effects on behavioral and physiological processes that likely increase reproductive success in competitive breeding conditions.

Keywords: estradiol; estrogen receptor; fish; goldfish; nongenomic membrane receptor; sexual behavior; sperm competition; testosterone; visual

Chapter.  6853 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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