Estradiol and progesterone regulate reproductive behavioral circuits in females. Estradiol initially inhibits sexual receptivity, through activation of μ-opioid receptors (MOP) in the medial preoptic nucleus (MPN), while priming progesterone regulated facilitative circuits. I tested the hypothesis that progesterone acts through orphanin FQ (OFQ) neurons using double-label immunocytochemistry. OFQ neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARH) contain progesterone receptors indicating that progesterone can directly regulate OFQ neurons. I tested the hypothesis that OFQ facilitates lordosis through ARH and ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (VMH) neural circuits. In estradiol-primed rats, facilitation of lordosis and MPN MOP deactivation were moderate when OFQ infusions reached both the ARH and VMH, indicating that OFQ acts in the ARH to deactivate MPN MOP and possibly the VMH descending pathway to facilitate lordosis. These results support the hypothesis that progesterone acts through OFQ neural circuits in the ARH and possibly the VMH to facilitate lordosis.
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 49/04M, Masters Abstracts International|
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