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Brain Res Bull. 2001 Sep 1;56(1):73-8.

The development of sex differences in the locus coeruleus of the rat.

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Departamento de Psicobiología, UNED, Ciudad Universitaria, Madrid, Spain.


Development of sex differences in the locus coeruleus (LC) is investigated. The LC is a sexually dimorphic structure in which the female manifests a larger volume and greater number of neurons than do males. Male and female Wistar rats were sacrificed on prenatal days (E) 16 and 20 and postnatally (P) on days 1, 3, 7, 15, 35, 45, 60, and 90. Male and female rats show a continuous increase in the number of neurons after birth that stops in the males by P45 and in females by P60. These findings point out the existence of different patterns of development in male and female rats and may suggest that sex differences could be established because of the existence of a differential period of neurogenesis in both sexes in the postpubertal period.

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