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J Neurosci. 1988 Aug;8(8):2869-74.

Sex and regional differences in the incorporation of neurons born during song learning in zebra finches.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Rochester, New York 14627.

Abstract

In zebra finches only males sing, and several nuclei controlling song contain more neurons in adult males than in females. The ontogeny of sex differences in neuron number differs across song regions and overlaps with song learning in males. We examined the development of neuron number in several song regions in both sexes. We then determined whether neurons are born and incorporated into song nuclei as sex differences in neuron number emerge, and whether sex or regional differences in the insertion of such neurons may account for differences in the development of these areas. Males add neurons to hyperstriatum ventralis pars caudalis (HVc) and Area X between 20 and 55 d of age. In females there is no change in HVc neuron number during this time, and Area X never appears as a distinct nucleus. In both sexes, 3H-thymidine administration between 20 and 30 d results in neuronal labeling at 55 d in HVc and the region of Area X. However, in these areas the incidence of labeled neurons is higher in males than in females. In contrast to HVc and Area X, sex differences in neuron number in the robustus nucleus of the archistriatum (RA) and the magnocellular nucleus of the neostriatum (MAN) emerge because males retain neurons that are lost in females between 20 and 55 d of age. Accordingly, RA and MAN neurons are not labeled following 3H-thymidine administration between 20 and 30 d of age. These data indicate that sex and regional differences in the ontogeny of song nuclei are related to differences in the incorporation of neurons born during song learning.

PMID:
3411358
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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