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Figure 3

Nature Neuroscience  7, 1034 - 1039 (2004)
Published online: 27 September 2004; | doi:10.1038/nn1325

Sexual differentiation of the vertebrate nervous system

John A Morris, Cynthia L Jordan & S Marc Breedlove
Fig 3 full size
Figure 3. Before birth, the SNB system is present in both male and female rats, and motor neurons have established a functional neuromuscular junction.
However, the muscles and their motor neurons die shortly after birth unless exposed to (or treated with) testosterone. In males, testosterone acts primarily to prevent the muscles from dying and this action secondarily prevents death of the motor neurons. One hypothesis is that testosterone induces the muscles to produce a trophic factor that preserves the muscles and either the same factor or an additional factor preserves the motor neurons.

Debbie Maizels

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