Impact of single neonatal serotonin treatment (hormonal imprinting) on the brain serotonin content and sexual behavior of adult rats

G. Csaba, Barbara Knippel, Cs Karabélyos, Ágnes Inczefi-Gonda, Monika Hantos, Kornélia Tekes

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Hormonal imprinting takes place perinatally at the first encounter between the developing receptor and its target hormone. As a consequence of imprinting the receptor accomplishes its maturation and reaches the binding capacity characteristic to the adult age. In the excess of target hormone or presence of molecules similar to the target hormone, which are able to bind to the unmatured receptors, faulty imprinting develops with life-long consequences. At present, serotonin was given to neonatal rats and their sexual activity, brain serotonin level and steroid receptor's binding capacity was measured in adult age. Brain serotonin level was significantly reduced in male's striatum and parallel with this, male's sexual activity significantly increased. In other regions of the male brain (prefrontal cortex, hypothalamus, hippocampus) there was a statistically non-significant tendency for a decrease in serotonin level. No significant differences were detected in female brain values, and there was only slight change in female's sexual activity. There was also no change in the binding capacity of thymic glucocorticoid and uterine estrogen receptors. The experiments call attention to the possibility of perinatal imprinting by a neurotransmitter causing changes in brain neurotransmitter level for life, which is manifested in altered sexual activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2703-2711
Number of pages9
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Oct 10 2003



  • 5HT
  • Brain serotonin
  • Hormonal imprinting
  • Receptors
  • Sexual behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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