To determine whether a sex difference exists in the biosynthetic capacity of vasopressinergic (AVP) neurons in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), we have used in situ hybridization and quantitative autoradiography to measure propressophysin messenger RNA levels in these cells from adult male and female rats. We have found that significantly more (p<0.01) neurons are labeled in male rats than in female rats and that these labeled cells averaged more grains/cell (p<0.05) in males than in females. Therefore, the sexual dimorphism of AVP pathways in the BNST and lateral septum recently shown by immunohistochemistry results from a sex difference in the biosynthetic capacity of these AVP neurons.
- In situ hybridization
- Sex differences
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience