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Biomedical Reviews

Sexual differentiation of neural circuitry in the neuroendocrine hypothalamus

Akira Matsumoto, Yasumasa Arai


Estrogen or aromatizable androgen exerts potent influences on modulating neural development and neural circuit formation in developing sex steroid-sensitive neuroendocrine hypothalamus. Sex steroids can act as a neurotrophic factor on neural tissues, stimulating axonal and dendritic growth and synapse formation. Sex steroids are involved in regulation of expression of certain structural proteins and their messenger ribonucleic acids in the hypothalamic neurons, which could affect neuropil organization. These organizational actions of sex steroids seem to induce permanent sexual difference in neuronal circuitry driving neuroendocrine and behavioral functions of the hypothalamus.

Biomedical Reviews 1997; 7: 5-15.

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About The Authors

Akira Matsumoto
Juntendo University School of Medicine

Yasumasa Arai
Juntendo University School of Medicine

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