Journal of Endocrinology vol:86 issue:1 pages:53-9
The influence of neonatal androgens on the response of alpha 2u-globulin to testosterone propionate or dexamethasone in adult rats has been investigated. It has been demonstrated previously that contact with androgens during the perinatal period results in higher unstimulated levels of alpha 2u-globulin in the serum of adult rats and in higher levels of this protein when the animals are stimulated either with androgens or glucocorticoids. As shown here, however, non-androgenized animals reached comparable serum levels to their neonatally androgenized litter-mates only during prolonged stimulation with testosterone propionate. Previous exposure to androgens during adulthood did not result in comparable differences in levels of alpha 2u-globulin in non-stimulated or stimulated rats. The residual sex difference in the stimulated levels observed in neonatally gonadectomized and oil-treated animals suggested that the sensitive period for this imprinting effect extends into the prenatal period.