Sex differences in dopamine receptor overproduction and elimination

Neuroreport. 1997 Apr 14;8(6):1495-8. doi: 10.1097/00001756-199704140-00034.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Corpus Striatum / growth & development
  • Corpus Striatum / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Nucleus Accumbens / growth & development
  • Nucleus Accumbens / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Dopamine D1 / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Dopamine D1 / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2 / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2 / metabolism*
  • Sex Characteristics*


  • Receptors, Dopamine D1
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2