The binding of androgens to specific high-affinity receptor sites in brain tissue is postulated as an initial event in the mechanism of central androgenic action. In an effort to assess the functional capacity of the androgen receptor system in the central nervous system, we measured the concentration of nuclear (ARn) as well as cytosolic androgen receptors (ARc) in 13 microdissected brain samples from intact male and female Sprague-Dawley rats. Tissues from 6 rats were combined for each determination and androgen receptor contents were measured with single-point in vitro assays that used saturating concentrations of high specific activity 3[H]dihydrotestosterone. We found that ARc levels tended to be higher in females than males although the general patterns of distribution were very similar. As expected, ARn concentrations were significantly higher in males than females. The highest concentrations of ARn (> 100 fmol/mg DNA) in males were measured in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus and medial amygdala; intermediate levels (50-100 fmol/mg DNA) were found in arcuate nucleus-median eminence, medial preoptic nucleus, periventricular preoptic area, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, anterior hypothalamus, periventricular anterior hypothalamus, lateral septum, and parietal cortex, and low levels (< 50 fmol/mg DNA) were measured in lateral preoptic nucleus and cortical amygdala. With the exception of the periventricular preoptic area (74 ± 33 fmol/mg DNA), only very low concentrations of ARn were measured in females. These data provide the first quantitative profile of ARn in discrete brain nuclei and subregions of the rat.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience