Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Sexual Experience-Dependent Neuroplasticity of the Nucleus Accumbens after in Syrian Hamsters
Haverford College. Department of Psychology
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This study is an aims to clarify the role of delta fos-b in the reinforcement of sexual behavior in Syrian (Golden) hamsters. We used a one-way ANOVA to compare levels of delta fos-b expression from experienced animals to naïve animals, and males to females. Western blot analysis was used to quantify the amount of protein in both the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and the caudate (CP), a control brain area. We found a significantly greater amount of delta fos-b expression in the NAc in sexually experienced hamsters (both males and females) compared to naïve. In addition, there was no difference between sexually experienced males and females in overall delta fos-b expression in the NAc. Implications and future directions point towards further unraveling the unknown mechanisms of reinforcement of sexual behavior in hamsters through humans.