Distribution of androgen receptor-immunoreactive cells in the quail forebrain and their relationship with aromatase immunoreactivity

J. Balthazart, A. Foidart, M. Houbart, G. S. Prins, G. F. Ball

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The distribution of androgen receptor-like immunoreactive (AR-ir) cells in the quail brain was analyzed by immunocytochemistry with the use of the affinity-purified antibody PG-21-19A raised against a synthetic peptide representing the first 21 N-terminal amino acids of the rat and human AR. This antibody is known to bind to the receptor in the absence as well as in the presence of endogenous ligands, and it was therefore expected that a more complete and accurate characterization of AR-ir cells would be obtained in comparison with previous studies using an antibody that preferentially recognizes the occupied receptor. Selected sections were double labeled for aromatase (ARO) by a technique that uses alkaline phosphatase as the reporter enzyme and Fast blue as the chromogen. AR-ir material was detected in the nucleus of cells located in a variety of brain areas in the preoptic region and the hypothalamus including the medial preoptic (POM), the supraoptic, the paraventricular (PVN), and the ventromedial (VMN) nuclei, but also in the tuberculum olfactorium, the nucleus accumbeus/ventral striatum, the nucleus taeniae, the tuberal hypothalamus, the substantia grisea centralis (GCt), and the locus ceruleus. Cells exhibiting a dense AR-ir label were also detected in the nucleus intercollicularis. Preincubation of the primary antibody with an excess of the synthetic peptide used for immunization completely eliminated this nuclear staining. A significant number of AR-ir cells in the POM, VMN, PVN, and tuberal hypothalamus also contained ARO-ir material in their cytoplasm. These data confirm and extend previous studies localizing AR in the avian brain, and raise questions about the possible regulation by androgens of the metabolizing enzyme aromatase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-340
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Neurobiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 5 1998



  • Androgen receptor
  • Aromatase
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Japanese quail
  • Preoptic area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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