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Sex differences in dopamine receptor overproduction and elimination

Andersen, Susan L.1,4; Rutstein, Mark2; Benzo, José M.1; Hostetter, John C.3; Teicher, Martin H.1

Neuropharmacology and Neurotoxicology

DENSITY of dopamine D1 and D2 family receptors was assessed using autoradiography in male and female rats from 25 to 120 days of age, focusing on transitions through puberty into full adulthood. Males had greater overproduction (approximately 4.6-fold) and elimination of striatal D1 and D2 receptors than females, though their adult densities were very similar. Males had more extensive overproduction of D1 receptors in nucleus accumbens and sustained a greater density into adulthood (57.8 ± 21.2%). These results have implications for understanding gender differences in the prevalence of clinical disorders associated with dopamine.

1Consolidated Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, and the Developmental Psychopharmacology Laboratory, Mailman Laboratory for Psychiatric Research, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA 02178, USA

2Present address: University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA.

3Present Address: Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, NJ, USA

4Corresponding Author: Susan L. Andersen

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:Funding for this project was provided by NIMH (MHT) and the Scottish Rite Schizophrenia Research Foundation (SLA).

Received 16 January 1997; accepted 5 February 1997

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.