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Hippocampal testosterone relates to reference memory performance and synaptic plasticity in male rats.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21188275     Owner:  NLM     Status:  PubMed-not-MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Steroids are important neuromodulators influencing cognitive performance and synaptic plasticity. While the majority of literature concerns adrenal- and gonadectomized animals, very little is known about the "natural" endogenous release of hormones during learning. Therefore, we measured blood and brain (hippocampus, prefrontal cortex) testosterone, estradiol, and corticosterone concentrations of intact male rats undergoing a spatial learning paradigm which is known to reinforce hippocampal plasticity. We found significant modulations of all investigated hormones over the training course. Corticosterone and testosterone were correlated manifold with behavior, while estradiol expressed fewer correlations. In the recall session, testosterone was tightly coupled to reference memory (RM) performance, which is crucial for reinforcement of synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus. Intriguingly, prefrontal cortex and hippocampal levels related differentially to RM performance. Correlations of testosterone and corticosterone switched from unspecific activity to specific cognitive functions over training. Correspondingly, exogenous application of testosterone revealed different effects on synaptic and neuronal plasticity in trained versus untrained animals. While hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) of the field excitatory postsynaptic potential (fEPSP) was prolonged in untrained rats, both the fEPSP- and the population spike amplitude (PSA)-LTP was impaired in trained rats. Behavioral performance was unaffected, but correlations of hippocampal field potentials with behavior were decoupled in treated rats. The data provide important evidence that besides adrenal, also gonadal steroids play a mechanistic role in linking synaptic plasticity to cognitive performance.
Authors:
Kristina Schulz; Volker Korz
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2010-12-17
Journal Detail:
Title:  Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience     Volume:  4     ISSN:  1662-5153     ISO Abbreviation:  Front Behav Neurosci     Publication Date:  2010  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-12-28     Completed Date:  2011-07-14     Revised Date:  2013-08-13    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101477952     Medline TA:  Front Behav Neurosci     Country:  Switzerland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  187     Citation Subset:  -    
Affiliation:
Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology Magdeburg, Germany.
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