Dr. Elaine Hull
Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience
- PDB B425
- My research program investigates the neuroendocrine control of male rat sexual behavior. We have shown that dopamine is released in the medial preoptic area (MPOA) as soon as a male rat encounters a receptive female; release is further increased during copulation. Stimulation of dopamine receptors in the MPOA controls genital reflexes and sexual motivation. This brain area is essential for male sexual behavior in all vertebrate species that have been studied, from fish through humans. Testosterone promotes copulation, in part, by up-regulating nitric oxide synthase in the MPOA; the resultant production of nitric oxide increases both basal and female-stimulated dopamine release. We have also shown that serotonin is released in the anterior lateral hypothalamus at the time of ejaculation and contributes to the postejaculatory sexual quiescence, in part by decreasing mesolimbic dopamine release. Recent research centers on the roles of dopamine and glutamate in the increase in sexual proficiency due to sexual experience. Similar mechanisms may underlie other forms of memory and drug addiction. Finally, we are interested in how the circuitry underlying sexual behavior is integrated with that subserving other motivated behaviors.
- Recent Publications
Will RG, Hull EM, Dominguez JM, Influences of dopamine and glutamate in the medial preoptic area on male sexual behavior, Pharmacol Biochem Behav, 2014 PubMed McHenry JA, Carrier N, Hull EM, Kabbaj M, Sex differences in anxiety and depression: Role of testosterone, Front Neuroendocrinol, 2014 PubMed Gil M, Bhatt R, Picotte KB, Hull EM, Sexual experience increases oxytocin receptor gene expression and protein in the medial preoptic area of the male rat, Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2013 PubMed McHenry JA, Bell GA, Parrish BP, Hull EM, Dopamine D1 receptors and phosphorylation of dopamine- and cyclic AMP-regulated phosphoprotein-32 in the medial preoptic area are involved in experience-induced enhancement of male sexual behavior in rats, Behav Neurosci, 2012 PubMed Vigdorchik AV, Parrish BP, Lagoda GA, McHenry JA, Hull EM, An NMDA antagonist in the MPOA impairs copulation and stimulus sensitization in male rats, Behav Neurosci, 2012 PubMed Muschamp JW, Hull EM, Melanin concentrating hormone and estrogen receptor-alpha are coexstensive but not coexpressed in cells of male rat hypothalamus, Neurosci Lett, 2007 PubMed Hull EM, Dominguez JM, Sexual behavior in male rodents, Horm Behav, 2007 PubMed Sato SM, Wersinger SR, Hull EM, The effects of nitric oxide-cGMP pathway stimulation on dopamine in the medial preoptic area and copulation in DHT-treated castrated male rats, Horm Behav, 2007 PubMed Muschamp JW, Dominguez JM, Sato SM, Shen RY, Hull EM, A role for hypocretin (orexin) in male sexual behavior, J Neurosci, 2007 PubMed Dominguez JM, Brann JH, Gil M, Hull EM, Sexual experience increases nitric oxide synthase in the medial preoptic area of male rats, Behav Neurosci, 2006 PubMed Hull EM, Dominguez JM, Getting his act together: roles of glutamate, nitric oxide, and dopamine in the medial preoptic area, Brain Res, 2006 PubMed Sato SM, Hull EM, The nitric oxide-guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate pathway regulates dopamine efflux in the medial preoptic area and copulation in male rats, Neuroscience, 2006 PubMed Dominguez JM, Hull EM, Dopamine, the medial preoptic area, and male sexual behavior, Physiol Behav, 2005 PubMed Hull EM, Dumas HM, Crowley RA, Kharasch VS, Tracheostomy speaking valves for children: tolerance and clinical benefits, Pediatr Rehabil, 2005 PubMed Sato S, Braham CS, Putnam SK, Hull EM, Neuronal nitric oxide synthase and gonadal steroid interaction in the MPOA of male rats: co-localization and testosterone-induced restoration of copulation and nNOS-immunoreactivity, Brain Res, 2005 PubMed Putnam SK, Sato S, Riolo JV, Hull EM, Effects of testosterone metabolites on copulation, medial preoptic dopamine, and NOS-immunoreactivity in castrated male rats, Horm Behav, 2005 PubMed Meston CM, Levin RJ, Sipski ML, Hull EM, Heiman JR, Women's orgasm, Annu Rev Sex Res, 2004 PubMed Lagoda G, Muschamp JW, Vigdorchik A, Hull EM, A nitric oxide synthesis inhibitor in the medial preoptic area inhibits copulation and stimulus sensitization in male rats, Behav Neurosci, 2004 PubMed Hull EM, Muschamp JW, Sato S, Dopamine and serotonin: influences on male sexual behavior, Physiol Behav, 2004 PubMed Coolen LM, Hull EM, Male sexual function, Physiol Behav, 2004 PubMed Muschamp JW, Regina MJ, Hull EM, Winter JC, Rabin RA, Lysergic acid diethylamide and [-]-2,5-dimethoxy-4-methylamphetamine increase extracellular glutamate in rat prefrontal cortex, Brain Res, 2004 PubMed Dominguez JM, Muschamp JW, Schmich JM, Hull EM, Nitric oxide mediates glutamate-evoked dopamine release in the medial preoptic area, Neuroscience, 2004 PubMed