Sex, Drugs, and the Medial Amygdala: A Model of Enhanced Sexual Motivation in the Female Rat
JournalFrontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
PublisherFrontiers Media S.A.
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractMethamphetamine (METH) is a psychomotor stimulant that is reported to enhance sexual desire and behavior in both men and women, leading to increases in unplanned pregnancies, sexually-transmitted infections, and even comorbid psychiatric conditions. Here, we discuss our rodent model of increased sexually-motivated behaviors in which the co-administration of METH and the ovarian hormones, estradiol and progesterone, intensify the incentive properties of a sexual stimulus and increases measures of sexually-motivated behavior in the presence of an androgen-specific cue. We then present the neurobiological mechanisms by which this heightened motivational salience is mediated by the actions of METH and ovarian hormones, particularly progestins, in the posterodorsal medial nucleus of the amygdala (MePD), a key integration site for sexually-relevant sensory information with generalized arousal. We finally demonstrate the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying this facilitation of sexual motivation by METH, including the upregulation, increased phosphorylation, and activation of progestin receptors (PRs) in the MePD by METH in the presence of ovarian hormones. Taken together, this work extends our understanding of the neurobiology of female sexual motivation. Copyright 2019 Rudzinskas, Williams, Mong and Holder.
SponsorsThis research was supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant DA024943 awarded to MH and by NIH grant DA030517.
Identifier to cite or link to this itemhttps://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85073053208&doi=10.3389%2ffnbeh.2019.00203&partnerID=40&md5=19e02e4a8c85a5286cf4ed6f80d74a30; http://hdl.handle.net/10713/11171