A sexually dimorphic nucleus in the human brain

Science. 1985 May 31;228(4703):1112-5. doi: 10.1126/science.3992248.


A sexually dimorphic cell group is described in the preoptic area of the human hypothalamus. Morphometric analysis revealed that the volume of this nucleus is 2.5 +/- 0.6 times (mean +/- standard error of the mean) as large in men as in women, and contains 2.2 +/- 0.5 times as many cells. Between the ages of 10 and 93 years, the nucleus decreases greatly in volume and in cell number. Although no function has yet been established for this nucleus, it is located within an area that is essential for gonadotropin release and sexual behavior in other mammals.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Preoptic Area / anatomy & histology*
  • Preoptic Area / cytology
  • Sex Characteristics*