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Supplementary Material for: Relationships among Sex, Season and Testosterone in the Expression of Androgen Receptor mRNA and Protein in the Green Anole Forebrain

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posted on 29.11.2014, 00:00 by Kerver H.N., Wade J.
Sexual behavior in male green anole lizards is regulated by a seasonal increase in testosterone (T). However, T is much more effective at activating behavioral, morphological and biochemical changes related to reproduction in the breeding season (BS; spring) compared to nonbreeding season (NBS; fall). An increase in androgen receptor (AR) during the BS is one potential mechanism for this differential responsiveness. AR expression has not been investigated in specific brain regions across seasons in anoles. The present studies were designed to determine relative AR expression in areas important for male (preoptic area, ventromedial amygdala) and female (ventromedial hypothalamus) sexual behavior, as well as whether T upregulates AR in the anole brain. In situ hybridization and Western blot analyses were performed in unmanipulated animals across sex and season, as well as in gonadectomized animals with and without T treatment. Among hormone-manipulated animals, more cells expressing AR mRNA were detected in females than males in the amygdala. T treatment increased the volume of the ventromedial hypothalamus of gonadectomized animals in the BS, but not the NBS. AR protein in dissections of the hypothalamus and preoptic area was increased in males compared to females specifically in the BS. Additionally, among females, it was increased in the NBS compared to the BS. Collectively, these results indicate that differences in central AR expression probably do not facilitate a seasonal responsiveness to T. However, they are consistent with a role for AR in regulating some differences between sexes in the display of reproductive behaviors.