Breaking News
March 19, 2019 - Heart attack patients who are taken to heart care centres directly survive longer
March 19, 2019 - IVF babies have increased in birthweight over the past 25 years, study reveals
March 19, 2019 - Study highlights the need for psychiatric care to be integrated into cancer treatment
March 19, 2019 - Testosterone treatment lowers recurrence rates in low-risk prostate cancer patients
March 19, 2019 - Caterpillars could hold the secret to new treatment for Osteoarthritis
March 19, 2019 - Parkinson’s treatment delivers a power-up to brain cell ‘batteries’
March 19, 2019 - Stanford launches new Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence
March 19, 2019 - Wireless earphones may cause cancer
March 18, 2019 - ACC/AHA guideline for prevention of cardiovascular disease released
March 18, 2019 - UTA nursing professor receives $6.575 million to attack musculoskeletal diseases
March 18, 2019 - Gene medication shows promise to treat spinal cord injuries
March 18, 2019 - First Human Study of “Robotic” RaniPill™ Capsule to Replace Injections Announced by Rani Therapeutics
March 18, 2019 - Food Allergy Testing: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
March 18, 2019 - Altered brain activity patterns of Parkinson’s captured in mice
March 18, 2019 - Apple Heart Study demonstrates ability of wearable technology to detect atrial fibrillation | News Center
March 18, 2019 - Cardiovascular benefits of diabetes drug extend across a wide spectrum of patients, shows study
March 18, 2019 - Novel cardiac pump shows superior outcomes in patients with advanced heart failure
March 18, 2019 - U.S. FDA Grants Priority Review for Fedratinib New Drug Application in Myelofibrosis
March 18, 2019 - Living like a caveman won’t make you thin—but it might make you healthy
March 18, 2019 - Modified immune cells issue alert when detecting cancer in mice | News Center
March 18, 2019 - Dementia caregivers design robots for alleviating stress and increasing joyful moments
March 18, 2019 - VR technology could help improve balance in humans
March 18, 2019 - Study demonstrates effective way to slow progression of cerebrovascular disease in older adults
March 18, 2019 - Premature babies also have protective anti-viral antibodies
March 18, 2019 - Painkillers taken by pregnant mothers unlikely to cause asthma in the child
March 18, 2019 - Fibromyalgia can be reliably detected in blood samples
March 18, 2019 - Marijuana use has dropped among most teens after legalization
March 18, 2019 - Legacy Pharmaceutical Packaging, LLC Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Losartan Potassium Tablets, USP, 25mg, 50mg, And 100mg Due to The Detection of Trace Amounts Of N-Nitroso N-Methyl 4-Amino Butyric Acid (NMBA) Impurity Found in The Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API)
March 18, 2019 - Researchers identify early home and family factors that contribute to obesity
March 18, 2019 - Fate and festivity: Match Day 2019
March 18, 2019 - Study finds TAVR to be as good as open-heart surgery for patients at low surgical risk
March 18, 2019 - EU-funded project is developing new tools for diagnosing cancer
March 18, 2019 - Gluten, lactose, food dyes in pills could be causing side effects finds study
March 18, 2019 - Taking painkillers during pregnancy is not responsible for asthma risk in children, study shows
March 18, 2019 - Prediagnosis Psychiatric Care Linked to Worse Cancer Mortality
March 18, 2019 - Paris hospital halts stool study after donor deluge
March 18, 2019 - Partial oral antibiotic therapy shows efficacy and safety in patients with infectious endocarditis
March 18, 2019 - Olympus improves access to science education through BioBus collaboration
March 18, 2019 - Depression screening does not improve quality of life in heart attack patients
March 18, 2019 - Echocardiography may aid in patient selection for TMVR
March 18, 2019 - Are ‘Inactive’ Ingredients in Your Drugs Really So Harmless?
March 18, 2019 - Wearable technology can safely identify atrial fibrillation
March 18, 2019 - Scientists tackle rare retinal disease in unique research project
March 18, 2019 - Death By A Thousand Clicks
March 18, 2019 - Absorbable, antibiotic-eluting envelope can reduce rate of cardiac device infections
March 18, 2019 - Hormonal treatment associated with depression in men with prostate cancer
March 18, 2019 - Porvair Sciences launches reinforced 96-well deep round microplate
March 18, 2019 - Simplified catheter ablation could slash waiting lists for atrial fibrillation patients
March 18, 2019 - BFR therapy as part of rehabilitation following ACL surgery may slow bone loss
March 18, 2019 - A human model to test implants for cataract surgery
March 18, 2019 - New risk adjustment model could reduce financial penalty for safety net hospitals
March 18, 2019 - NHS cancer patients’ wait to start treatment worrying
March 18, 2019 - Inventiva Announces Results from Phase IIb Clinical Trial with Lanifibranor in Systemic Sclerosis
March 18, 2019 - Cologuard
March 18, 2019 - Researchers find evidence of prenatal environment tuning genomic imprinting
March 18, 2019 - Dolomite Bio launches novel Nadia product family for single-cell research
March 18, 2019 - Intellipharmaceutics Announces Resubmission of New Drug Application to the U.S. FDA for its Oxycodone ER
March 18, 2019 - Excessive gestational weight gain tied to maternal morbidity
March 18, 2019 - RCEM issues position statement on metrics to supplement four-hour standard target
March 17, 2019 - Noncontrast Brain MRI Effective for Monitoring Multiple Sclerosis
March 17, 2019 - Brain region plays key role in regulation of parenting behavior, study finds
March 17, 2019 - Natural speed limit on DNA replication sets pace for life’s first steps
March 17, 2019 - New research reveals overlooked impact of herbicide glyphosate on the environment
March 17, 2019 - Molecular patterns could help predict relapse risk in breast cancer patients
March 17, 2019 - Study confirms sensitivity of microbiological cultures for detecting cholera
March 17, 2019 - Scientists Spot Clues to Predicting Breast Cancer’s Return
March 17, 2019 - Scientists identify gene that keeps PTSD-like behavior at bay in female mice
March 17, 2019 - New method would allow doctors to detect earliest stages of cancers in the lymph nodes
March 17, 2019 - Cholesterol protein discovery raises hope for smarter drugs
March 17, 2019 - New insect medium delivers high viable cell density growth and protein yield
March 17, 2019 - Opioid crisis brings concerns about heart dangers
March 17, 2019 - Resistance Training May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes Progression
March 17, 2019 - Bioluminescence sensors make new approaches to drug discovery possible
March 17, 2019 - New FDA Rules Aim to Keep Kids From Flavored E-Cigarettes
March 17, 2019 - Vitamin B3 analogue boosts production of blood cells
March 17, 2019 - Government cuts to stop smoking services have detrimental impact on public health
March 17, 2019 - Common tool to assess potential adoptive parents lags behind societal changes
March 17, 2019 - Patients’ own cells could be the key to treating Crohn’s disease
March 17, 2019 - Diagnostic delays common in inflammatory bowel disease
March 17, 2019 - Study uncovers dramatic differences in the brains of Hispanics with dementia
Study reveals how immune cells in the brain influence sexual behavior

Study reveals how immune cells in the brain influence sexual behavior

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Researchers have found a surprising new explanation of how young brains are shaped for sexual behavior later in life.

Immune cells usually ignored by neuroscientists appear to play an important role in determining whether an animal’s sexual behavior will be more typical of a male or female, according to research led by Kathryn Lenz, an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at The Ohio State University.

The study, which was done in rats, appears in the Journal of Neuroscience.

To better understand the role of the mast cells in sexual behavior, Lenz and her colleagues silenced the cells in male fetal rats and then observed the rats’ development later in life.

The researchers paired one of these male animals with a female that was receptive to mating and watched to see whether the male sexually pursued the female – basically, whether he chased her and mounted her.

The experimental males were far less interested than typical males, acting almost like females.

The researchers also manipulated female newborn rats, activating the mast cells with a stimulating chemical.

As adults, they acted like males.

“It’s fascinating to watch, because these masculine females don’t have the hardware to engage in male reproductive behavior, but you wouldn’t know it from the way they act,” said Lenz, a researcher in Ohio State’s Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research. “They appear to be strongly motivated to try to engage in male sexual behavior with other females.”

The researchers found that estrogen (which plays a major role in development of masculine traits in rats) activates mast cells in the brain and that those mast cells drive the animal’s sexual development.

Though scientists know that sex differences are programmed by hormones during early development, they have limited information about the cellular-level changes that contribute to the manner in which the brain and behavior are formed.

“We’re really interested in the fundamental mechanisms that drive brain development and sex-specific brain development, and this study found that mast cells – immune cells involved in allergic responses – play a key role,” Lenz said.

If human development mirrors what was seen in this animal study, it’s possible that relatively minor influences – such as an allergic reaction, injury or inflammation during pregnancy – could steer sexual behavior development in offspring, Lenz said. It’s even conceivable that taking antihistamines or pain relievers during pregnancy could play a role, she said.

Furthermore, this discovery could help explain risks for psychiatric and neurological disorders that are more common in males, including autism, she said.

“These mast cells in the brain appear crucial for life-long brain development, even though there are relatively few of them, and this should really open our eyes to the potential role of different immune cells in the human brain. There’s so much we don’t know, and we need to pay attention to all the cells in the brain and how they talk to each other,” she said.

The study focused on the pre-optic area of the brain, which is part of the hypothalamus.

“This is the most sexually dynamic area of the brain – we know that it’s highly important for male-type reproductive and social behaviors such as mounting and for initiating maternal behavior in female animals,” Lenz said.

Previous work by the researchers uncovered the role of another type of brain cell, microglia, in directing sexual behavior. In the new study, they found that mast cells activate the microglia.

“This new mast cell discovery is really one of those accidents of science,” Lenz said, explaining that another researcher was conducting some unrelated work on sex differences in gene expression and noticed that there appeared to be some differences in mast cell genes depending on whether the brains were from a male or female.

In addition to the behavioral changes documented in the study, the researchers examined cellular-level changes as well. Female newborn rats exposed to a dose of the masculinizing hormone estrogen had an increase in mast cells in the brain. Those cells released histamine, which stimulated other brain cells (the microglia) to activate male-typical brain patterning.

Source:

https://news.osu.edu/immune-cells-in-the-brain-have-surprising-influence-on-sexual-behavior/

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles