Time-course and steroid specificity of aromatase induction in rat hypothalamus-preoptic area.

C. E. Roselli, L. E. Horton, J. A. Resko

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127 Scopus citations


We studied the time-course and steroid specificity for aromatase induction in the hypothalamus-preoptic area (HPOA) of the adult male rat. Aromatase activity (AA) was measured in tissue homogenates by using a radiometric assay that quantifies the stereospecific production of 3H2O from [1 beta-3H] androstenedione. We found that by 48 h after administration of testosterone, HPOA AA was significantly (p less than 0.01) greater than control values in castrated rats. In contrast, AA was significantly (p less than 0.01) reduced 12 h after castration, and reached its lowest levels by 4 days after castration. Several other steroids, administered in 3-cm Silastic capsules for 7 days, were tested for their capacity to induce hypothalamic AA. In addition to testosterone, only 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone and 5 alpha-androstane-3 alpha, 17 beta-diol were effective. Neither the stereoisomers of these compounds nor several other steroids, including estradiol, progesterone, and corticosterone, were active. This profile of activity indicates that the induction of HPOA AA is androgen-specific and, together with the demonstrated time-course of induction, lends further support to the hypothesis that androgens regulate AA through a receptor mechanism and the synthesis of new protein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628-633
Number of pages6
JournalBiology of reproduction
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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