The role of adrenoceptors in the central nervous system in male and female rat sexual behavior
Three different phases can be distinguished in rats’ sexual cycle, the introductory (precopulatory), the copulatory and the executive (ejaculatory) phases. In this review, a new analysis of existing pharmacological data is made, both in male and female rats, in which the different aspects of sexual behavior are taken into account. An effort is made to distinguish pharmacological effects on sexual behavior from a possible physiological role of noradrenaline. In addition, new data on the role of α2-adrenoceptors on female sexual behavior is presented. The new analysis suggests that noradrenaline has a stimulatory role on the executive phase of male sexual behavior, while the introductory and copulatory phases remain unaffected. Adrenoceptors play a role in the regulation of sexual behavior in the medial preoptic area and the lateral septum. In female rats, noradrenaline also does not play a vital role in the introductory phase. Only the lordosis behavior of the copulatory phase is sometimes affected by adrenergic agents, but only under a certain hormonal condition. The medial preoptic area, the ventromedial nucleus, the arcuate ventromedial nucleus and median eminence are involved in the regulation of female sexual behavior. The new data suggest that α2-adrenoceptors play no major role on any indices of female sexual behavior.