Regulation of estrogen-stimulated lordosis behavior and hypothalamic progestin receptor induction by antiestrogens in female rats

Anne M. Etgen, Peter Shamamian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Two estrogen antagonists, CI-628 (CI) and tamoxifen (TX), were used to examine the relationship between estrogen priming of lordosis behavior and progestin receptor induction in the hypothalamus-preoptic area (HPOA) of ovariectomized female rats. Lordosis behavior was assessed by measuring lordosis quotients (LQ) in response to injection of 2 μg of estradiol benzoate (EB) followed 48 hr later by 500 μg of progesterone (P). Behavior testing began 4 hr after P injection. The effects of antiestrogens were assessed by injecting CI and TX (1-2 mg) from 0 to 48 hr prior to EB. Levels of cytosol progestin receptor in the HPOA were determined by quantifying the specific binding of 0.5 nM [3H]R5020 to cytosols from animals receiving the same EB and antiestrogen treatments used in behavioral testing. TX given concurrently with or CI given 2 hr before EB abolished both lordosis behavior and induction of HPOA progestin receptors. In contrast, CI given 12 hr prior to EB abolished lordosis but permitted a 95% elevation in the concentration of progestin binding sites in the HPOA. TX or CI given 48 hr before EB resulted in moderate levels of lordosis (mean LQs from 56 to 69) and induction of HPOA progestin receptors from 85 to 130% above noninjected controls. However, CI given 24 hr prior to EB produced less than a 40% increase in brain R5020 binding even though lordosis behavior was equivalent to that seen in the 48-hr animals (mean LQ = 53). These data indicate that the effects of antiestrogens on female sexual behavior and on the synthesis of brain progestin receptors depend on which antiestrogen is used and the time interval between administration of estrogen and antiestrogen. They also demonstrate that under some conditions estrogen induction of cytosol progestin receptors in the HPOA can be dissociated from estrogen priming of lordosis behavior in rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-180
Number of pages15
JournalHormones and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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