Individual differences in estradiol-induced behaviors and in neural 3H-estradiol uptake in rats

R. Thomas Gentry, George N. Wade, Edward J. Roy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of estradiol benzoate (EB) treatment on food intake, running wheel activity, and sexual receptivity were measured in a group of 14 ovariectomized rats. Rats were then injected with 3H-estradiol-17β, and uptake of radioactivity was determined in whole homogenates and cell nuclear fractions of cerebral cortex, preoptic area, hypothalamus, and pituitary gland. During EB treatment the heaviest rats tended to show the greatest anorexia and weight loss, consistent with the hypothesized weight-regulating actions of estradiol. In contrast, the activity increases and weight losses induced by EB were unrelated. The 3 behavioral responses to EB (anorexia, increased activity, and estrous behavior) were completely independent of one another, suggesting that estradiol acts on separate neural substrates to alter these 3 behaviors. Large amounts of radioactivity were taken up by cell nuclei, with pituitary uptake highest, followed by preoptic area and hypothalamus (which did not differ) and cerebral cortex. However, a greater proportion of the total tissue radioactivity was found in cell nuclei in hypothalamus and prooptic area than in pituitary. Finally, none of the behavioral responses to EB displayed a significant correlation with any of the indices of brain or pituitary 3H-estradiol uptake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-200
Number of pages6
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1976
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain estradiol uptake
  • Estradiol
  • Estrous behavior
  • Food intake
  • Running wheel activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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