Blocking aromatization facilitates sexual behavior in ovariectomized rats treated with estradiol and testosterone

S. Rosenbaum, S.L. Jones, J. Gardner Gregory, J.G. Pfaus

Location: Hall F-J
Presentation Time: Monday, Oct 15, 2012, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
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Women experience a natural decline in endogenous hormones with age. Administration of testosterone in combination with estrogen has proven to be an effective treatment in the reinstatement of sexual desire in post- menopausal women. We have recently discovered that the administration of testosterone propionate (TP) in combination with estradiol benzoate (EB) significantly increases sexually appetitive behaviors in ovariectomized (OVX) Long-Evans females, compared to those treated with EB-alone. The current study was designed to investigate the role of testosterone’s aromatization to estradiol on sexual appetitive and consummatory behaviors of OVX Long-Evans rats. Sexually experienced Long-Evans female rats were given either EB, EB+ TP, or EB + TP in combination with the aromatase inhibitor Fadrozole (EB+TP+FAD). Females treated with EB + TP + FAD displayed significantly higher hops and darts, solicitations and lordosis magnitudes when compared to EB-alone females. This suggests that aromatization may not be necessary for TP to enhance female sexual behavior and may be exerting this effect through an androgenic pathway.