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Title: Effects of hormonal replacement with androgens and estrogens on male sexual behavior and plasma levels of these steroids in gonadectomized golden hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus)
Author: Arteaga-Silva, M.
Marquez-Villanueva, Y.
Martinez-Garcia, R.
Hernandez-Gonzalez, M.
Bonilla-Jaime, H.
Retana-Marquez, S.
Issue Date: 2005
Abstract: Because the endocrine control of sexual behavior in male hamsters remains controversial, this study analyzed the influence of different androgens and estrogens in the regulation of masculine, sexual behavior (MBS). Aromatizable androgens: androstenedione (A) and testosterone (T), a non-aromatizable androgen: 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT), as well as estrogens (E 2 and E1) alone or in combination with DHT, were administered in gonadectomized, sexually experienced males, for 3 weeks. In addition, plasma levels of these steroids were determined. Gonadectomy completely suppressed masculine sexual behavior (MSB) after 4 weeks. Both A and T replacements restored all the sexual behavior parameters in castrated hamsters by the 3rd week of treatment, with A being more potent in restoring all copulatory series and maintaining all MSB parameters, including long intromissions. Castrated males treated with DHT showed little interest in the female and did not display any copulatory behavior. Gonadectomized males treated with estrogens alone showed active anogenital investigation and displayed some mounts, but did not ejaculate. Males treated with estrogens combined with DHT had longer latencies and less number of ejaculations than males treated with aromatizable androgens. Long intromissions were observed only in males treated with T or A. Plasma levels of A were significantly higher than T levels in intact males. In males treated with A both androgens and estrogens were present in plasma. These results support the notion that aromatizable androgens, mainly A, but not non-aromatizable androgens or even estrogens in combination with DHT, play a relevant role in the endocrine regulation of MSB in the golden hamster.
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