Whereas progesterone and dopamine share a common central pathway to modulate sexual behavior in female rats, the way in which estrogen is involved remains unclear. In a long-term rat hypothalamic cell culture system, atrial natriuretic factor-producing neurons were identified as candidate sites for integration of sex steroid action. Estrogen induces the expression of progesterone receptors in atrial natriuretic factor neurons and also augments neuronal functions by increasing expression of constitutively active D5 receptors that generate cAMP in a ligand-independent manner. Such a cross-talk mechanism allows estrogen to exert its effects via the adenylyl cyclase-cAMP system by augmenting dopamine receptor activity, an action that may play an important integrative role in facilitating female sexual behavior.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 1999|