Male and female animals display innate sex-specific mating behaviors. In teleost fish, altering the adult sex steroid milieu can effectively reverse sex-typical mating behaviors, suggesting remarkable sexual lability of their brains as adults. In the teleost medaka, neuropeptide B (NPB) is expressed female-specifically in the brain nuclei implicated in mating behavior. Here, we demonstrate that NPB is a direct mediator of estrogen action on female mating behavior, acting in a female-specific but reversible manner. Analysis of regulatory mechanisms revealed that the female-specific expression of NPB is dependent on direct transcriptional activation by estrogen via an estrogen-responsive element and is reversed in response to changes in the adult sex steroid milieu. Behavioral studies of NPB knockouts revealed that female-specific NBP mediates female receptivity to male courtship. The female-specific NPB signaling identified herein is presumably a critical element of the neural circuitry underlying sexual dimorphism and lability of mating behaviors in teleosts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)