Of mice and rats: Key species variations in the sexual differentiation of brain and behavior

P. J. Bonthuis, K. H. Cox, B. T. Searcy, P. Kumar, S. Tobet, E. F. Rissman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Mice and rats are important mammalian models in biomedical research. In contrast to other biomedical fields, work on sexual differentiation of brain and behavior has traditionally utilized comparative animal models. As mice are gaining in popularity, it is essential to acknowledge the differences between these two rodents. Here we review neural and behavioral sexual dimorphisms in rats and mice, which highlight species differences and experimental gaps in the literature, that are needed for direct species comparisons. Moving forward, investigators must answer fundamental questions about their chosen organism, and attend to both species and strain differences as they select the optimal animal models for their research questions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-358
Number of pages18
JournalFrontiers in Neuroendocrinology
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Calbindin D28k
  • Estrogen receptor
  • Hypothalamus
  • Nitric oxide
  • Progestin receptor
  • Sexual dimorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems

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