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Neurosci Lett. 2002 Sep 6;329(3):285-8.

Raloxifene effects upon the neuronal system controlling sexual receptivity in female rats.

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Department of Cell Biology, Physiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Córdoba University, Avenida Menendez Pidal s/n, 14004 Cordoba, Spain.


Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) constitute a new family of drugs with growing interest in the management of estrogen-associated pathology. Raloxifene is a SERM that mimics estrogen action on bone and blood lipid concentration but whether it acts as estrogen in the central nervous system remains to be fully established. In the present communication, we aimed at evaluating the estrogenic/antiestrogenic effects of raloxifene upon organization and activation of sexual receptivity, an estrogen-dependent event, in female rats. To this end, the effects of raloxifene, administered during the neonatal period, were compared with those of estrogen in terms of disruption of sexual receptivity in estrogen-progesterone-primed ovariectomized (OVX) female rats. In addition, the ability of raloxifene to induce sexual receptivity in progesterone-primed OVX females was analyzed. Similarly, the effects of the combined administration of estrogen and raloxifene were studied. Our results suggest that raloxifene does not act as estrogen upon the organization of the neuronal system involved in the control of sexual receptivity in female rats and exerted an antiestrogenic action in adult OVX estrogen-primed female rats.

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