Perinatal Administration Of Aromatase Inhibitors In Animal Models Of Human Male Homosexuality


Jan 15, 2016
Perinatal Administration of Aromatase Inhibitors in Rodents as Animal Models of Human Male Homosexuality: Similarities and Differences
In this chapter we briefly review the evidence supporting the existence of biological influences on sexual orientation. We focus on basic research studies that have affected the estrogen synthesis during the critical periods of brain sexual differentiation in male rat offspring with the use of aromatase inhibitors, such as 1,4,6-androstatriene-3,17 (ATD) and letrozole. The results after prenatal and/or postnatal treatment with ATD reveal that these animals, when adults, show female sexual responses, such as lordosis or proceptive behaviors, but retain their ability to display male sexual activity with a receptive female. Interestingly, the preference and sexual behavior of these rats vary depending upon the circadian rhythm.Recently, we have established that the treatment with low doses of letrozole during the second half of pregnancy produces male rat offspring, that when adults spend more time in the company of a sexually active male than with a receptive female in a preference test. In addition, they display female sexual behavior when forced to interact with a sexually experienced male and some typical male sexual behavior when faced with a sexually receptive female. Interestingly, these males displayed both sexual behavior patterns spontaneously, i.e., in absence of exogenous steroid hormone treatment. Most of these features correspond with those found in human male homosexuals; however, the "bisexual" behavior shown by the letrozole-treated rats may be related to a particular human population. All these data, taken together, permit to propose letrozole prenatal treatment as a suitable animal model to study human male homosexuality and reinforce the hypothesis that human sexual orientation is underlied by changes in the endocrine milieu during early development.
Perinatal Administration of Aromatase Inhibitors in Rodents as Animal Models of Human Male Homosexuality: Similarities and Differences - PubMed


Mar 15, 2014
Very interesting study. So lowering estrogen with letrozole seems to turn rats gay/bisexual?
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