The androgen receptor governs the execution, but not programming, of male sexual and territorial behaviors

Juntti, S. A., Tollkuhn, J., Wu, M. V., Fraser, E. J., Soderborg, T., Tan, S., Honda, S., Harada, N., Shah, N. M. (April 2010) The androgen receptor governs the execution, but not programming, of male sexual and territorial behaviors. Neuron, 66 (2). pp. 260-72. ISSN 1097-4199 (Electronic)0896-6273 (Linking)

DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2010.03.024


Testosterone and estrogen are essential for male behaviors in vertebrates. How these two signaling pathways interact to control masculinization of the brain and behavior remains to be established. Circulating testosterone activates the androgen receptor (AR) and also serves as the source of estrogen in the brain. We have used a genetic strategy to delete AR specifically in the mouse nervous system. This approach permits us to determine the function of AR in sexually dimorphic behaviors in males while maintaining circulating testosterone levels within the normal range. We find that AR mutant males exhibit masculine sexual and territorial displays, but they have striking deficits in specific components of these behaviors. Taken together with the surprisingly limited expression of AR in the developing brain, our findings indicate that testosterone acts as a precursor to estrogen to masculinize the brain and behavior, and signals via AR to control the levels of male behavioral displays.

Item Type: Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: Animals Brain/ metabolism Estrogens/metabolism Male Mice Mice, Transgenic Neurons/metabolism Receptors, Androgen/genetics/ metabolism Sexual Behavior, Animal/ physiology Territoriality Testosterone/metabolism
Subjects: bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > protein structure, function, modification > protein receptor > androgen receptor
organism description > animal behavior
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > organs types and functions > brain
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Tollkuhn lab
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: 29 April 2010
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2015 19:36
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2015 19:36
PMCID: PMC2923659
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