Pubertal hormones modulate the addition of new cells to sexually dimorphic brain regions

Nat Neurosci. 2008 Sep;11(9):995-7. doi: 10.1038/nn.2178.


New cells, including neurons, arise in several brain regions during puberty in rats. Sex differences in pubertal addition of cells coincide with adult sexual dimorphisms: for each region, the sex that gains more cells during puberty has a larger volume in adulthood. Removing gonadal hormones before puberty eliminates these sex differences, indicating that gonadal steroids direct the addition of new cells during puberty to maintain and accentuate sexual dimorphisms in the adult brain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Bromodeoxyuridine / metabolism
  • Castration
  • Cell Count
  • Female
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / metabolism
  • Male
  • Neurogenesis / physiology*
  • Phosphopyruvate Hydratase / metabolism
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sex Characteristics*


  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • Phosphopyruvate Hydratase
  • Bromodeoxyuridine