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Horm Behav. 1994 Dec;28(4):320-7.

Can gonadal steroids influence cell position in the developing brain?

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  • 1Program in Neuroscience, Shriver Center, Waltham, Massachusetts 02254.

Abstract

The preoptic area/anterior hypothalamus (POA/AH) is a site where hormones dramatically influence development. The POA/AH is comprised of multiple subgroups, but little is known about the derivation of these subgroups during development. Results from several laboratories suggest that some cells in the POA/AH originate from progenitor cells in other regions of the developing nervous system. We are exploring pathways for migration in the developing POA/AH in two ways. First, we are examining the distribution of radial glial processes as potential migratory guides using immunocytochemistry. We have identified a transient pattern of radial glial processes from the lateral ventricles to the pial surface at the base of the POA/AH. Additionally, the expression of a molecule in radial glial processes originating in the third ventricle was decreased by prenatal treatment with testosterone. Second, we are utilizing time-lapse video microscopy in vitro to assess the extent and direction of movements of fluorescent dye-labeled cells at different ages in brain slice preparations from the POA/AH of developing rats. Data from these studies indicate that cell migration in the POA/AH includes movements along dorsal-ventral routes and from lateral to medial positions, in addition to the predicted medial to lateral pathway away from the third ventricle. Several researchers have examined effects of gonadal steroids on neurite outgrowth, cell differentiation, cell death, and synaptogenesis. The determination of cell position, however, may be a key event influenced by gonadal steroids earlier in development. The characterization of migratory pathways that contribute to permanent changes in brain structure and ultimately function is essential for unraveling the process of sexual differentiation.

PMID:
7729801
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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