Effects of male and female sex steroids on the development of normal and the transient Froriep's dorsal root ganglia of the chick embryo

Jiali Liu, Dawei Chen, Ronald S. Goldstein, Sheng Cui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Sex steroids can influence developmental processes and support the survival of neurons in the embryonic central nervous system. Recent studies have shown that estrogen receptors are also expressed in the peripheral nervous system, in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) of chick embryos. However, no studies have examined the effects of sex steroids on development of embryonic DRG. In the present study, 0.2 μg, 1.0 μg, 5.0 μg 10 μg, 20 μg, 25 μg, and 40 μg doses of testosterone or estradiol were delivered to chick embryos at Hamburger and Hamilton stage 18 (E3). The actions of these doses of sex steroids on the development of the C5DRG (fifth cervical ganglion, a "normal" DRG) and C2DRG (a transient ganglion known as a "Froriep's DRG") were then evaluated by quantifying ganglionic volumes, cell number, proliferation, and apoptosis after 1 day of growth to stage 23. We found that both testosterone and estradiol promoted proliferation of cells in both normal DRG and the Froriep's ganglia. By contrast, estradiol significantly increased the number of apoptotic cells, while testosterone strongly inhibited apoptosis. These actions of sex steroids on DRG development were dose-dependent, and C5DRG and C2DRG showed different sensitivities to the applied sex steroids. In addition, the present results demonstrated that specific ER and AR inhibitors (tamoxifen and flutamide) did not influence the effects of 5 μg E2 and 5 μg T on C2 and C5DRG significantly. These results demonstrate that male and female sex steroids can modulate DRG development through an epigenetic mechanism, as had been shown for the central nervous system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-25
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Brain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 22 Mar 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants of the Natural Science Foundation of China for Outstanding Young Scientists (30325034), the Natural Science Foundation of China (30170693) and the Science and Technology Key Program (01018) of the China Ministry of Education. Monoclonal antibody G3G4 BrdU was developed by Kaufman, S. J. and obtained from the Developmental Studies Hybridoma Bank developed under the auspices of the NICHD and maintained by the University of Iowa, Department of Biological Sciences, Iowa City, IA 52242.


  • Chick embryo
  • Dorsal root ganglia
  • Neuron
  • Sex steroids


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of male and female sex steroids on the development of normal and the transient Froriep's dorsal root ganglia of the chick embryo'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this