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J Steroid Biochem. 1987;27(4-6):1081-7.

Sexual differentiation of gonadotrophin secretion, sexual orientation and gender role behavior.

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  • 1Institute of Experimental Endocrinology, Humboldt University Medical School (Charité), Berlin, German Democratic Republic.

Abstract

The positive estrogen feedback was found to be a relatively sex-specific reaction of the hypothalamo-hypophyseal system in rats as well as in human beings. It is dependent--most of all--on the estrogen convertible androgen level during sexual brain differentiation, but also on an estrogen priming effect in adulthood. The lower the estrogen convertible androgen or primary estrogen level during brain differentiation, the higher is the evocability of a positive estrogen action on LH secretion in later life. In clinical studies, we were able to induce a positive estrogen feedback on LH secretion in most intact homosexual men in clear-cut contrast to intact hetero- or bisexual men. These findings were strongly confirmed by Gladue and associates. In addition, the evocability of a positive estrogen feedback was also demonstrable in most homosexual male-to-female transsexuals in significant contrast to hetero- or bisexual male-to-female transsexuals. These findings suggest that homosexual males possess, at least in part, a predominantly female-differentiated brain, which may be caused by a low estrogen convertible androgen level during brain organization. Recently, the following relations were found between sex hormone levels during brain differentiation and sex-specific responses in adulthood: (1) estrogens--which are mostly converted, however, from androgens--are responsible for the sex-specific organization of gonadotrophin secretion and hence the evocability of a positive estrogen feedback in later life; (2) estrogens and androgens, occurring during brain differentiation, predetermine synergistically sexual orientation and (3) androgens--without conversion to estrogens--are responsible for the sex-specific organization of gender role behaviour in later life. Furthermore, the organization periods for sex-specific gonadotrophin secretion, sexual orientation and gender role behaviour are not identical but overlapping. Thus, combinations as well as dissociations between deviations of the neuroendocrine organization of sex-specific gonadotrophin secretion, sexual orientation and gender role behaviour are conceivable. Most recently, female-type sexual orientation could be converted to male-type sexual orientation in adult rats by administration of the dopamine agonist and serotonin antagonist lisuride.

PMID:
3695504
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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