In the sexually dimorphic anteroventral periventricular nucleus (AVPV) of the hypothalamus, females have a greater number of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive (TH-ir) and kisspeptin-immunoreactive (kisspeptin-ir) neurons than males. In this study, we used proteomics analysis and gene-deficient mice to identify proteins that regulate the number of TH-ir and kisspeptin-ir neurons in the AVPV. Analysis of protein expressions in the rat AVPV on postnatal day 1 (PD1; the early phase of sex differentiation) using two-dimensional fluorescence difference gel electrophoresis followed by MALDI-TOF-MS identified collapsin response mediator protein 4 (CRMP4) as a protein exhibiting sexually dimorphic expression. Interestingly, this sexually differential expressions of CRMP4 protein and mRNA in the AVPV was not detected on PD6. Prenatal testosterone exposure canceled the sexual difference in the expression of Crmp4 mRNA in the rat AVPV. Next, we used CRMP4-knockout (CRMP4-KO) mice to determine the in vivo function of CRMP4 in the AVPV. Crmp4 knockout did not change the number of kisspeptin-ir neurons in the adult AVPV in either sex. However, the number of TH-ir neurons was increased in the AVPV of adult female CRMP4-KO mice as compared with the adult female wild-type mice. During development, no significant difference in the number of TH-ir neurons was detected between sexes or genotypes on embryonic day 15, but a female-specific increase in TH-ir neurons was observed in CRMP4-KO mice on PD1, when the sex difference was not yet apparent in wild-type mice. These results indicate that CRMP4 regulates the number of TH-ir cell number in the female AVPV.
In tilapia, hormone treatment during the period of sexual differentiation can alter the phenotype of the gonads, indicating that endocrine factors can cause gonadal sex reversal. However, the endocrine mechanism underlying sex reversal of reproductive behaviors remains unsolved. In the present study, we detected sexual dimorphism of gonadotropin-releasing hormone type III (GnRH3) neurons in Mozambique tilapia Oreochromis mossambicus. Our immunohistochemical observations showed sex differences in the number of GnRH3 immunoreactive neurons in mature tilapia; males had a greater number of GnRH3 neurons in the terminal ganglion than females. Treatment with androgen (11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) or methyltestosterone), but not that with 17?-estradiol, increased the number of GnRH3 neurons in females to a level similar to that in males. Furthermore, male-specific nest-building behavior was induced in 70% of females treated with 11-KT within two weeks after the onset of the treatment. These results indicate androgen-dependent regulation of GnRH3 neurons and nest-building behavior, suggesting that GnRH3 is importantly involved in sex reversal of male-specific reproductive behavior.
A sex difference has been reported in the responsiveness of the vomeronasal (VN) system to pheromones. In the present study, to clarify a direct and acute influence of 17?-estradiol (E2) on the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB) neurons, we investigated the effect of E2 on dendritic spines in cultured AOB cells derived from male and female neonatal rats. After 17-18 days in vitro (DIV), cultured AOB cells were transfected with GFP expression vectors. At 21-23 DIV, cells were treated with E2, and time-lapse images of transfected AOB neurons identified as granule cells were taken under a confocal laser scanning microscope for 3h. The dendritic spine head area of granule cells was quantitatively evaluated, and spine heads were classified into larger (? 1 ?m²) and smaller (<1 ?m²) ones before E2-treatment (0 h). In cultured cells derived from both sexes, the larger spines were not significantly changed at 1, 2 and 3 h after E2-treatment. In contrast, E2-treatment significantly enlarged the head area of the smaller spines of granule cells derived from the female, whereas E2 did not cause any significant effects on those from the male. Our results provide evidence for the sexually-dimorphic effect of E2 on spine development in AOB granule cells.
Collapsin response mediator protein 4 (CRMP4) is a molecular marker for immature neurons but only limited information is available on the spatiotemporal gene expression changes of Crmp4 in the developing rodent. In the present study, the variation of CRMP4 mRNA expression in the mouse brain was investigated from postnatal day (PD) 0 (the day of birth) to adulthood by in situ hybridization. The hybridization signals were broadly detected on PD0 and regional changes in expression during development were noted. Expression patterns of CRMP4 mRNA were classified into the following three types: (i) signals that were strongest on PD0 or PD7, weak or undetectable on PD14, and absent in adulthood: this pattern was observed in most brain areas; (ii) signals that were first detected on PD0 or PD7 and persisted into adulthood: this pattern was seen in the dentate gyrus and subventricular zone of the olfactory bulb (OB); and (iii) signals that were strongest on PD0 and decreased gradually with age but were still detectable in adulthood: this pattern was identified for the first time in the mitral cell layer of the OB. Analysis using quantitative real-time RT-PCR confirmed higher expression of CRMP4 mRNA in the OB than in other adult brain regions. The persistence of CRMP4 mRNA in the adult OB, including the mitral cell layer, suggests the possibility of both neurogenetic and non-neurogenetic functional roles of CRMP4 in this region.
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