Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Craig Kinsley

Second Advisor

Dr. Kelly Lambert

Third Advisor

Dr. Frederick Kozub


Androgens masculinize brain development and behavior, and alterations in early hormone exposure modify development. We examined sexual dimorphisms and prenatal stress (PS) effects on the morphology of mPOA neurons. Timed-mated rats were subjected to thrice-daily heat, light and restraint stress from days 15-22 of gestation. In adulthood, the offspring were killed, the brains stained with Golgi-Cox, and the neurons traced for analysis. Sexual dimorphisms in the cumulative length and branching of the dendrites were observed: (Control Females>Control Males). Stress effects were seen in the males in somal area, perimeter, and dendritic length: (PS males>Control males). Stress effects in the females were observed in the measure of apical dendritic branchings, and cumulative dendritic length: (PS Females