Hepatic metabolism of steroid hormones in the rat is sexually differentiated at birth by irreversible programming ("imprinting") by testicular androgens. The regulation of sex-dependent enzyme activities in the rat has been shown to be under hypothalamico-hypophyseal control. Probably this control is mainly exerted via a pituitary "feminizing factor" the secretion of which is suppressed in the male rat by a hypothalamic inhibiting factor. The production of this inhibiting factor is "turned on" by neonatal androgenic imprinting.
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