The present study investigated 1) the importance of the aromatization process during the perinatal period for the development of the sexually dimorphic nucleus in the preoptic area of the hypothalamus (SDN-POA) of male rats, and 2) the relationship between SDN-POA volume and parameters of masculinization in male rats that were treated perinatally with the aromatase-inhibitor ATD. Males were treated with ATD either prenatally or pre- and neonatally, or with the vehicle. Masculine sexual behavior and partner preference were investigated in adulthood. Thereafter, animals were sacrificed and SDN-POA volume was measured. The SDN-POA volume was reduced in both the prenatally and the pre- and neonatally treated group, with a larger reduction in the latter than in the former group. Combined pre- and neonatal ATD treatment resulted in reduced frequency of mounts, intromissions, and ejaculations, as well as a reduced preference for a female over a male. The SDN-POA size was significantly and positively correlated with frequency of masculine sexual behavior, as well as preference for a female over a male.

Additional Metadata
Keywords aromatization, ATD, male rats, masculinization, perinatal, SDN-POA, sexual behavior, sexual differentiation
Persistent URL,
Journal Physiology & Behavior
Houtsmuller, E.J, Brand, T, de Jonge, F.H, Joosten, R.N.J.M.A, van de Poll, N.E, & Slob, A.K. (1994). SDN-POA volume, sexual behavior, and partner preference of male rats affected by perinatal treatment with ATD. Physiology & Behavior, 56(3), 535–541. doi:10.1016/0031-9384(94)90298-4