Eine Studie zu den Auswirkungen postnataler Hormone auf das Gehirn:
Objective: Sex hormones are not only involved in the formation of reproductive organs, but also induce sexually-dimorphic brain development and organization. Cross-sex hormone administration to transsexuals provides a unique possibility to study the effects of sex steroids on brain morphology in young adulthood.
Methods: Magnetic resonance brain images were made prior to, and during, cross-sex hormone treatment to study the influence of anti-androgen + estrogen treatment on brain morphology in eight young adult male-to-female transsexual human subjects and of androgen treatment in six female-to-male transsexuals.
Results: Compared with controls, anti-androgen + estrogen treatment decreased brain volumes of male-to-female subjects towards female proportions, while androgen treatment in female-to-male subjects increased total brain and hypothalamus volumes towards male proportions.
Conclusions: The findings suggest that, throughout life, gonadal hormones remain essential for maintaining aspects of sex-specific differences in the human brain.
Aus der Studie:
It is well established in mammals that differences in male and female brain structures can be reversed by sex hormones, even in adulthood (1). However, it is not known whether alterations in sex hormone levels can change structures of the human brain in adulthood. In human adults, the volumes of the brain and hypothalamus of males tend to be larger than those of females (2). The preoptic nucleus of the hypothalamus is even twice as large in males as in females (3). Moreover, in some studies, when comparing the fractions of gray and white matter in the brain, adult females as compared with males were found to have a higher fraction of gray matter, whereas adult males as compared with females had a higher fraction of white matter (4, 5).
Also bei Männern mehr graue Masse, bei Frauen mehr weiße Masse und bei Transsexuellen jeweils Veränderungen hin zu dem anderen Geschlecht hin
The changes in total brain and hypothalamus volumes following cross-sex hormone treatment in the transsexuals were mirrored by changes in their third and lateral ventricle volumes, i.e. treatment with estrogens and anti-androgens in MFs increased third and lateral ventricle volumes, whereas treatment with androgens decreased the third and lateral ventricle volumes in FMs. This suggests that the total brain volume changes are at least in part due to changes in medial brain structures surrounding these ventricles (including, but not limited to, the hypothalamus, which lies in close proximity to the third ventricle). Considering that the effects were not specific for gray (neurons, glia) or white (myelinated axonal fibers) matter suggests that both alterations in nerve cells as well as in axonal fibers may be implicated in the anatomical brain changes following cross-sex hormone treatment in humans. It is not surprising that the influences of sex hormones on the brain were not limited to the hypothalamus, but were also expressed as changes in total brain size. Estrogen and androgen receptor mRNA containing neurons are not limited to the hypothalamus, but are distributed throughout the adult human brain (18).
Es scheint also, als hätte postnatales Testosteron eine andere Auswirkung auf die Gehirnstruktur als pränatales. Gewisse Strukturen scheinen angleichbar zu sein, andere nicht.