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Trends Neurosci. 1990 Mar;13(3):104-10.

Hormonal control of neuropeptide gene expression in sexually dimorphic olfactory pathways.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA 92037.


An abundance of experimental literature has established that gonadal steroid hormones are responsible for the sexual differentiation of neural circuitry, mediating a variety of reproductive behaviors and physiological mechanisms. These same hormones regulate the expression of reproductive function in the adult and may influence the responsiveness of the brain to specific olfactory cues. The recent demonstration that the expression of the neuropeptide cholecystokinin is activationally regulated by estrogen at the mRNA level, within a sexually dimorphic population of neurons in the medial amygdala, suggests a possible cellular mechanism for the hormonal modulation of olfactory information relayed along the vomeronasal pathway to the hypothalamus.

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