home   genetic news   bioinformatics   biotechnology   literature   journals   ethics   positions   events   sitemap
 
  HUM-MOLGEN -> Genetic News | search  
 

Blocking Brain Masculinization With Aspirin

 
  May, 25 2004 7:41
your information resource in human molecular genetics
 
     
Testosterone is the executive that barks out orders to masculinize the fetal brain during pregnancy, but little is known about the underlings who scurry around to implement them. One such signal is prostaglandin-E2 (PGE2), reports a paper in the June issue of Nature Neuroscience, because drugs like aspirin that block its synthesis can interfere with brain masculinization and later male sexual behavior in rats. If this is also true in humans (which is not yet known), then there may be cause for concern about the widespread use of drugs such as aspirin and acetaminophen (commonly sold as Tylenol or Paracetemol) by pregnant women.

The authors report that male rats exposed during pregnancy or as newborns to cyclo-oxygenase inhibitors, which block the synthesis of PGE2, show a distinct dampening of copulatory behavior in adulthood, as might occur from a reduced sex drive. They also have a reduced number of dendritic spines on neurons in a brain region known to differ between males and females, making their brains look more female as well. Female rats injected with PGE2 show male-like copulatory behavior, and have more masculine brains than normal females. These unexpected results reinforce the conservative advice that it is prudent for women to avoid unnecessary medication during pregnancy.

An accompanying News and Views from Marc Breedlove and colleagues explains the significance of the paper. In the June editorial, Charles Jennings describes a longitudinal study already underway in the UK that may soon provide data to determine whether this finding generalizes to humans.

Author contact:
Margaret McCarthy (University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA)
Tel: +1 410 706 2655, E-mail: mmccarth@umaryland.edu

News and Views author:
S. Marc Breedlove (Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA)
Tel: +1 517 355 1749, E-mail: breedsm@msu.edu

Also available online.

(C) Nature Neuroscience press release.


Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

print this article mail this article
Bookmark and Share this page (what is this?)

Social bookmarking allows users to save and categorise a personal collection of bookmarks and share them with others. This is different to using your own browser bookmarks which are available using the menus within your web browser.

Use the links below to share this article on the social bookmarking site of your choice.

Read more about social bookmarking at Wikipedia - Social Bookmarking

Latest News
Variants Associated with Pediatric Allergic Disorder

Mutations in PHF6 Found in T-Cell Leukemia

Genetic Risk Variant for Urinary Bladder Cancer

Antibody Has Therapeutic Effect on Mice with ALS

Regulating P53 Activity in Cancer Cells

Anti-RNA Therapy Counters Breast Cancer Spread

Mitochondrial DNA Diversity

The Power of RNA Sequencing

‘Pro-Ageing' Therapy for Cancer?

Niche Genetics Influence Leukaemia

Molecular Biology: Clinical Promise for RNA Interference

Chemoprevention Cocktail for Colon Cancer

more news ...

Generated by News Editor 2.0 by Kai Garlipp
WWW: Kai Garlipp, Frank S. Zollmann.
7.0 © 1995-2016 HUM-MOLGEN. All rights reserved. Liability, Copyright and Imprint.