Effects of testosterone, estrogen, and dihydrotestosterone upon aggressive and sexual behavior of female rats.

Hormones and behavior

PubMedID: 3793023

van De Poll NE, van Zanten S, De Jonge FH. Effects of testosterone, estrogen, and dihydrotestosterone upon aggressive and sexual behavior of female rats. Horm Behav. 1986;20(4):418-31.
Groups of female TMD rats were treated either with estradiol benzoate (EB), dihydrotestosterone propionate (DHTP), testosterone propionate (TP), EB + DHTP (EB/DHTP), or with oil. These groups of females were tested for social aggression and for masculine and feminine sexual behavior. In addition, patterns of masculine and feminine sexual responses during the aggressive encounters, were investigated. TP-treated females of the same strain were used as opponents in the tests for aggression. In accordance with previous results, EB did not activate aggression whereas TP treatment resulted in a significant increase in aggression in females. Aggressive responses were activated by adding DHTP to EB, up to levels equal to those activated by TP. Sexual responses were observed in the tests for aggression as well as in tests for sexual behavior. The results indicated that feminine and masculine sexual responses were affected significantly by hormonal treatment. Mounting behavior in the test for aggression was activated by TP and by EB/DHTP. Lordosis and proceptive responses were inhibited in these groups as compared to EB-treated females, both in tests for aggression and in tests for sexual behavior. The results are consistent with the idea that dihydrotestosterone inhibits feminine and activates masculine sexual activity. The results also indicate that EB and DHTP synergistically activate aggression.