The neural dimorphisms in the zebra finch present one of the most unique examples of sexual differentiation observed in vertebrates. Although knowledge of these differences has been established for over 45 years, the exact mechanism by which they arise is not known. This dissertation provides additional support for estrogens' involvement in brain development. Specifically, blocking of estrogen receptors with ICI 182,780 decreased neuron soma size of song control regions in both sexes during development. These results are distinctive since previous attempts to block estrogen receptors failed to see the large degree of difference my work displayed. I further supported the role of estrogens in neural brain dimorphisms by decreasing the synthesis of aromatase, an enzyme needed for estradiol production, with the administration of Fadrozole. This successfully decreased neuron soma sizes, neuron number, and nuclear volume in song control regions in males and females, which had not been seen in prior attempts from other laboratories. I have concluded that the route of delivery used in these experiments is likely the largest contributing factor to generating these unique results. I also provide evidence of a potential role for ER alpha by displaying its presence at an early post-hatching age in two auditory processing regions. Taken together, my work provides further support for the role of estrogens in the dimorphic development of the brain, and establishes that it is unlikely that ER alpha contributes to neural dimorphisms in the zebra finch.
|Commitee:||Fountain, Stephen, Glass, David, Mintz, Eric, Raghanti, Mary Ann|
|School:||Kent State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Ohio|
|Source:||DAI-B 75/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Cellular biology, Endocrinology, Zoology|
|Keywords:||Estrogens, Sexual differentiation, Zebra finches|
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