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In songbirds, aromatase (estrogen synthase) activity and mRNA are readily detectable in the brain. This neural aromatization presumably provides estrogen to steroid-sensitive targets via autocrine, paracrine, and synaptic mechanisms. The location of immunoreactive protein, however, has been difficult to describe completely, particularly in distal dendrites,(More)
Sex steroids have long been recognized for their dramatic impact on brain and behavior, including rapid modulation of membrane excitability. It is a widely held perception that these molecules are largely derived from peripheral sources and lack the spatial and temporal specificity ascribed to classical neuromodulatory systems. Neuromodulatory systems, in(More)
The expression of aromatase (oestrogen synthase) within the vertebrate central nervous system (CNS) is key in the provision of local oestrogens to neural circuits. Aromatase expression appears to be exclusively neuronal under normal conditions. However, some in vitro studies suggest the presence of astrocytic aromatase in songbirds and mammals. Recently,(More)
The vertebrate brain is a source of estrogen (E) via the expression of aromatase (E-synthase). In the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), despite documented dimorphisms in E-action, no differences are detectable in circulating E, or the neural levels of aromatase transcription, activity, or somal protein expression. Studies of aromatase expression at the(More)
The steroidal regulation of vertebrate neuroanatomy and neurophysiology includes a seemingly unending list of brain areas, cellular structures and behaviors modulated by these hormones. Estrogens, in particular have emerged as potent neuromodulators, exerting a range of effects including neuroprotection and perhaps neural repair. In songbirds and mammals,(More)
Local aromatization of testosterone into 17beta-estradiol (E(2)) is often required for the physiological and behavioral actions of testosterone. In most vertebrates, aromatase is expressed in a few discrete brain regions. While many studies have measured brain aromatase mRNA or activity, very few studies have measured brain E(2) levels, particularly in(More)
Oestrogens organize and activate circuits within the vertebrate central nervous system. Oestrogen synthesis occurs via the expression of aromatase, a P450 enzyme detected in microsomes and more recently in pre-synaptic boutons. Synaptic aromatase has only been described in brain regions that express aromatase in many subcellular compartments, so its(More)
In many species, territoriality is expressed only during the breeding season, when plasma testosterone (T) is elevated. In contrast, in song sparrows (Melospiza melodia morphna), males are highly territorial during the breeding (spring) and nonbreeding (autumn) seasons, but not during molt (late summer). In autumn, plasma sex steroids are basal, and(More)
In oscine passerines, the telencephalon expresses high levels of the estrogen synthetic enzyme aromatase. In contrast, forebrain aromatase is limited to low levels at discrete limbic loci in non-passerines. The function of forebrain aromatase in oscines is unknown, however, estrogen-sensitive elements of the telencephalic song circuit (an oscine(More)
In seasonally breeding, photoperiodic birds, the development of photorefractoriness is associated with decreased brain expression of gonadotropin-releasing hormone-like immunoreactivity (GnRH-li ir) and increased expression of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide-like immunoreactivity (VIP-li ir). Dissipation of photorefractoriness and reestablishment of(More)