Document Detail

Sex differences in NeuN- and androgen receptor-positive cells in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis are due to Bax-dependent cell death.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19059313     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The principal nucleus of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNSTp) is larger in males than in females of several species. We previously demonstrated that in mice lacking the pro-death gene, bax, total BNSTp cell number is increased and sex differences in cell number are eliminated. This suggests that Bax-dependent cell death underlies sexual differentiation of the BNSTp. However, it is not known what cells in the BNSTp are affected by bax deletion. Here we used immunohistochemistry and stereological techniques to quantify phenotypically-identified cells in the BNSTp of adult male and female bax -/- and bax +/+ mice. Sections were thionin-stained, or double-labeled for antigen expressed in neuronal nuclei (NeuN) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) to identify mature neurons and astrocytes, respectively; an additional series was labeled for androgen receptor (AR). As previously demonstrated, sex differences in BNSTp area and overall cell number were seen in wild-type mice, but absent in bax -/- animals. In addition, sex differences (favoring males) were present in the number of NeuN+ and AR+ cells in wild-type mice. Bax gene deletion significantly increased the number of NeuN+ and AR+ cells and reduced or eliminated the sex differences in these cell types. The number of astrocytes in the BNSTp was not sexually dimorphic, nor significantly affected by bax gene status, although there was a trend for more GFAP+ cells in bax -/- mice. Overall brain weight was also greater in bax -/- animals compared with controls. We conclude that the sex differences in neuron and AR+ cell number are due at least in part to Bax-mediated cell death. Increased NeuN+ and AR+ cell number in bax -/- mice suggests that supernumerary cells in bax knockouts differentiate similarly to those in wild-type mice, and retain the capacity to respond to androgens.
M M Holmes; J McCutcheon; N G Forger
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2008-11-17
Journal Detail:
Title:  Neuroscience     Volume:  158     ISSN:  0306-4522     ISO Abbreviation:  Neuroscience     Publication Date:  2009 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-02-23     Completed Date:  2009-05-20     Revised Date:  2014-09-19    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7605074     Medline TA:  Neuroscience     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1251-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Analysis of Variance
Cell Count / methods
Cell Death / genetics
Gene Expression Regulation / genetics
Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / metabolism
Mice, Knockout
Neurons / metabolism*
Phosphopyruvate Hydratase / metabolism*
Receptors, Androgen / metabolism*
Septal Nuclei / cytology*
Sex Characteristics*
bcl-2-Associated X Protein / deficiency,  metabolism*
Grant Support
K02 MH072825/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; K02 MH072825/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; K02 MH072825-04/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; R01 MH068482/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; R01 MH068482/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; R01 MH068482-04/MH/NIMH NIH HHS
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Bax protein, mouse; 0/Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein; 0/Receptors, Androgen; 0/bcl-2-Associated X Protein; EC Hydratase

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