Date of Award

Fall 12-15-2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Andrew N. Clancy, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Barbara Baumstark, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Therese Poole, Ph.D.


Male rat copulatory behavior is dependent on Testosterone (T) and its metabolites, estradiol (E2) and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The estrogen receptor (ER) isoforms, ERα and ERβ, exist in the medial Amygdala (MEA) and either receptor might mediate mating behavior. Therefore, the effects of selective estrogenic MEA implants: propyl pyrazole triol (PPT, ERα agonist), diarylpropionitrile (DPN, ERβ agonist), and 1-methyl-4-phenyl pyridinium (MPP, ERα antagonist) were compared to E2 in maintaining sexual behavior. Four groups of male rats were castrated and administered DHT s.c. and bilateral MEA implants containing either cholesterol, E2, PPT or DPN. An additional group of gonadally intact male rats received bilateral MPP-MEA implants. The post-surgical trials showed a significant decrease in the mating behavior of groups that received cholesterol, PPT, or DPN-MEA implants. However, sexual behavior was maintained in male rats that received the E2 or MPP-MEA implants. These results suggest a differential response of the MEA to E2.


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Biology Commons