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Sex Differences in the BrainFrom Genes to Behavior$
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Jill B. Becker, Karen J. Berkley, Nori Geary, Elizabeth Hampson, James P. Herman, and Elizabeth Young

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195311587

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195311587.001.0001

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Sex Differences in Neuroplasticity

Sex Differences in Neuroplasticity

Chapter:
(p.201) Chapter 11 Sex Differences in Neuroplasticity
Source:
Sex Differences in the Brain
Author(s):

Csaba Leranth

Neil J. MacLusky

Tibor Hajszan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195311587.003.0011

In a concomitant study, using electron microscopic stereological calculation, Woolley and McEwen (Woolley & McEwen, 1992) have demonstrated that, even during the ovarian cycle there is a fluctuation in the density of spine synapses in the stratum radiatum of the CA1 hippocampal subfield. Recent studies have also demonstrated that administration of male hormones to both gonadectomized male and female animals has the same synaptoplastic effects in the hippocampus as estrogen in females. However, there are major sex differences in the effectiveness and mechanisms of actions of the gonadal hormones, between males and females. This chapter reviews these differences to indicate where areas of uncertainty still remain, and suggests possible future avenues of research to explore the underlying mechanisms and potential neurological significance of these morphological responses to gonadal steroid exposure. Because the majority of the work in this field to date has focused on the CA1 area of the hippocampus, the chapter also focuses on sex differences in CA1 responses to androgen and estrogen.

Keywords:   sex differences, CA1, hippocampus, gonadal hormones, androgen, estrogen

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