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Gonadal Hormones Induce Dendritic Growth in the Adult Avian Brain

Timothy DeVoogd and Fernando Nottebohm
Science
New Series, Vol. 214, No. 4517 (Oct. 9, 1981), pp. 202-204
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1686577
Page Count: 3
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Gonadal Hormones Induce Dendritic Growth in the Adult Avian Brain
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Abstract

Ovariectomized adult female canaries were treated with physiological doses of testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, or estradiol. Singing, which is typical of males, occurred in the testosterone-treated birds but not in any of the other birds. The effect of these hormones was assessed on dendrites from a class of neurons in the nucleus robustus archistriatalis (RA), a forebrain nucleus for song control. The RA neurons of the testosterone-treated birds had dendritic trees resembling those of intact males. The RA neurons of the estradiol- and dihydrotestosterone-treated birds resembled those of intact females. All hormone-treated groups had dendrites that were significantly longer than those of untreated ovariectomized females. Thus gonadal hormones induce dendritic growth in the adult avian brain.

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