Peptidergic delineations of nucleus interface reveal a sex difference in volume

Gregory F. Ball, Philippe Absil, Jacques Balthazart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Nucleus interface (Nif) is a song bird vocal control nucleus located in the neostriatum. In zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), high densities of fibers immunoreactive for the vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) and methionine enkephalin (ENK) define the boundaries of this nucleus. The volume of Nif measured using this pattern of peptidergic immunoreactivity was greater in males than in females. This difference was also found in gonadectomized, testosterone-treated birds that had similar levels of circulating steroids, suggesting that it is organizational in nature. These data show that Nif may form part of the neural substrate underlying sex differences in song behavior. They also provide further evidence that VIP and ENK may play a role in the activation of bird song.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)957-960
Number of pages4
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 1995


  • Methionine enkephalin
  • Sexual differentiation
  • Song bird
  • Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide
  • Zebra finch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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