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The application of electron microscopic immunolabeling techniques to the identification and analysis of degenerating processes in neural tissue has greatly enhanced the ability of researchers to examine apoptosis and other degenerative disease mechanisms. This is particularly true for the early stages of such mechanisms. Traditionally, degenerating(More)
The hippocampal formation (HF) is involved in modulating learning related to drug abuse. While HF-dependent learning is regulated by both endogenous opioids and estrogen, the interaction between these two systems is not well understood. The mossy fiber (MF) pathway formed by dentate gyrus (DG) granule cell axons is involved in some aspects of learning and(More)
Estrogens have direct effects on the brain areas controlling cognition. One of the most studied of these regions is the dorsal hippocampal formation, which governs the formation of spatial and episodic memories. In laboratory animals, most investigators report that estrogen enhances synaptic plasticity and improves performance on hippocampal-dependent(More)
Stress differentially affects hippocampal-dependent learning relevant to addiction and morphology in male and female rats. Mu opioid receptors (MORs), which are located in parvalbumin (PARV)-containing GABAergic interneurons and are trafficked in response to changes in the hormonal environment, play a critical role in promoting principal cell excitability(More)
Estradiol modulates dendritic spine morphology and synaptic protein expression in the rodent hippocampus, as well as hippocampal-dependent learning and memory. In the rat, these effects may be mediated through nongenomic steroid signaling such as estradiol activation of the Akt and LIM kinase (LIMK) pathways, in addition to genomic signaling involving(More)
Current rodent models of menopause fail to adequately recapitulate the menopause transition. The intact aging model fails to achieve very low estrogen levels, and the ovariectomy model lacks a perimenopause phase. A new rodent model of accelerated ovarian failure (AOF) successfully replicates human perimenopause and postmenopause, including estrous(More)
AMPA receptors are a major subtype of ionotropic receptors that respond to glutamate. Positive allosteric modulators of AMPA receptors selectively enhance fast excitatory neurotransmission in the brain and increase overall neuronal excitability. In addition to enhancing cognitive performance, S18986 (Servier, France) and other AMPA receptor modulators have(More)
Changes in hippocampal CA1 dendritic spine density and synaptic number across the estrous cycle in female rats correlate with increased hippocampal-dependent cognitive performance in a manner that is dependent on estrogen receptors (ERs). Two isoforms of the estrogen receptor, alpha and beta are present in the rat hippocampus and distinct effects on(More)
Several of the best-studied sex differences in the mammalian brain are ascribed to the hormonal control of cell death. This conclusion is based primarily on correlations between pyknotic cell counts in development and counts of mature neurons in adulthood; the molecular mechanisms of hormone-regulated, sexually dimorphic cell death are unknown. We asked(More)
Early in development, steroid hormones structurally organize various regions of the CNS. However, steroid hormones continue to affect the structure and function of the CNS throughout the life of the individual. In this review, we discuss sex differences and similarities in steroid-induced synaptic plasticity in the adult brain. Particular emphasis is placed(More)