To determine if alterations in the availability of the active metabolites of testosterone (T) are involved in the inhibition of sexual activity in hyperprolactinemic animals, the effects of four ectopic pituitary grafts on copulatory behavior were examined in castrated male rats given subcutaneous implants of T or estradiol-17β (E2) plus 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Two weeks after implantation of the steroid-filled capsules, half the animals of each group were given pituitary grafts and the remainder were sham-operated. Tests of copulatory behavior were performed prior to, and one, two, and three months following pituitary transplantation. Pituitary grafting caused significant inhibition of copulatory behavior in both T and E2+DHT treated animals. PRL levels were significantly higher in E2+DHT treated grafted males than in T treated grafted animals (2000±140 vs. 395±26 ng/ml), but did not differ between the corresponding control groups (61±8 vs. 73±6 ng/ml). The results of these experiments preclude the possible involvement of alterations in steroid secretion by the testes or modifications of the conversion of T to its active metabolites in the effects of hyperprolactinemia on copulatory behavior.
- Male rat
- Sexual behavior
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Behavioral Neuroscience