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Role of steroid hormones on sexual behavior and molecular biology of opioid receptors in different brain regions of female rats treated with opioid agonist


In accordance with the principles of chronobiology, infradian rhythms that last longer than 24 hours are prevalent in mammals capable of breeding. The estrous cycle is well known in rodents, consisting of 4-5 days and characterized by the stages of proestrus, estrus, metestrus and diestrus. The regulation of the secretion of pituitary gonadotropins is the result of a complex interrelation between the effects of gonadal steroid feedback and influence on brain neurotransmitters in the hypothalamus-pituitary. Studies show that this phenomenon is the central role played by brain opioids, which exert an inhibitory influence particularly in the secretion of gonadotropins. It is known that different kinds of brain opioids (such as beta-enkephalins, enkephalins, dynorphins) exert their action by binding to specific opioid receptors, the best known being called mu, delta and kappa. Kappa receptors appear to be associated with control of gonadotrophin secretion. Some other studies show that the delta opioid receptors would also be related to the regulation of gonadotrophin secretion, and few studies demonstrate the real participation of mu receptors in this context. The experiments conducted so far reflect the binding potential of opioidergic agonists, like morphine, which could modulate the number of opioid receptors by the presence / absence of steroid hormones and physiological consequences. Thus, this study aims to identify the modulation by female steroid hormones, of genes expression of Oprm1, Oprk1 and Opd1 that coding respectively for the opioid receptors mu, delta and kappa, as well as protein products MOR, KOR and DOR in the hypothalamus, striatum and PAG and the virgin rats and adult, ovariectomized and treated or not with morphine, estrogen and progesterone and its implication in physiological processes. (AU)

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(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
TEODOROV, E.; CAMARINI, R.; BERNARDI, M. M.; FELICIO, L. F.. Treatment with steroid hormones and morphine alters general activity, sexual behavior, and opioid gene expression in female rats. Life Sciences, v. 104, n. 1-2, p. 47-54, . (10/19970-1)

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