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Sex differences in the brain expression of steroidogenic molecules under basal conditions and after gonadectomy.

08:00 EDT 18th May 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Sex differences in the brain expression of steroidogenic molecules under basal conditions and after gonadectomy."

The brain is a steroidogenic tissue. It expresses key molecules involved in the synthesis and metabolism of neuroactive steroids, such as steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR), translocator protein 18kDa (TSPO), cytochrome P450 cholesterol side-chain cleavage enzyme (P450scc), 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases (3β-HSD), 5α-reductases (5α-R) and 3α-hydroxysteroid oxidoreductases (3α-HSOR). Previous studies have shown that the levels of brain steroids are different in male and female rats under basal conditions and after gonadectomy. In the present study we have assessed gene expression of key neurosteroidogenic molecules in the cerebral cortex and cerebellum of gonadally intact and gonadectomized adult male and female rats. In the cerebellum, the basal mRNA levels of StAR and 3α-HSOR were significantly higher in females than in males. On the contrary the mRNA levels of TSPO and 5α-R were significantly higher in males. In the cerebral cortex, all neurosteroidogenic molecules analyzed showed similar mRNA levels in males and females. Gonadectomy increased the expression of 5α-R in the brain of both sexes, but affected the brain expression of StAR, TSPO, P450scc and 3α-HSOR in females only and with regional differences. While protein levels were not investigated in the present work, our findings indicate that mRNA expression of steroidogenic molecules in the adult rat brain is sexually dimorphic and presents regional specificity, both under basal conditions and after gonadectomy. Thus, local steroidogenesis may contribute to the reported sex and regional differences in the levels of brain neuroactive steroids and may be involved in the generation of sex differences in the adult brain function. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Journal of neuroendocrinology
ISSN: 1365-2826
Pages: e12736

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