The sexually dimorphic region of the preoptic area in rats contains denser opiate receptor binding sites in females

Brain Res. 1984 Aug 6;308(1):172-6. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(84)90932-6.


Quantitative autoradiographic analysis of opiate receptor binding using [3H]naloxone shows higher levels in the sexually dimorphic region of the medial preoptic area in female rats than in males. Opiate receptor density varies across the estrous cycle being densest in diestrous females. The sexually dimorphic nucleus of the preoptic area lies within the opiate receptor-rich region. Endogenous opiates in the medial preoptic region acting at opiate receptors which are of differential density in males and females could influence sex-specific behavior mediated by the region.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diestrus
  • Dominance, Cerebral
  • Estrus*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Naloxone / metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Preoptic Area / physiology*
  • Proestrus
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Receptors, Opioid / analysis*
  • Sex Factors


  • Receptors, Opioid
  • Naloxone