Aromatase Inhibition Abolishes LTP Generation in Female But Not in Male Mice

Institute of Neuroanatomy, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20246 Hamburg, Germany.
The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 6.75). 06/2012; 32(24):8116-26. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5319-11.2012
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Inhibitors of aromatase, the final enzyme of estradiol synthesis, are suspected of inducing memory deficits in women. In previous experiments, we found hippocampal spine synapse loss in female mice that had been treated with letrozole, a potent aromatase inhibitor. In this study, we therefore focused on the effects of letrozole on long-term potentiation (LTP), which is an electrophysiological parameter of memory and is known to induce spines, and on phosphorylation of cofilin, which stabilizes the spine cytoskeleton and is required for LTP in mice. In acute slices of letrozole-treated female mice with reduced estradiol serum concentrations, impairment of LTP started as early as after 6 h of treatment and progressed further, together with dephosphorylation of cofilin in the same slices. Theta-burst stimulation failed to induce LTP after 1 week of treatment. Impairment of LTP was followed by spine and spine synapse loss. The effects were confirmed in vitro by using hippocampal slice cultures of female mice. The sequence of effects in response to letrozole were similar in ovariectomized female and male mice, with, however, differences as to the degree of downregulation. Our data strongly suggest that impairment of LTP, followed by loss of mushroom spines and spine synapses in females, may have implications for memory deficits in women treated with letrozole.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Rapid modulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity through synaptic estrogen receptors is an essential topic. We analyzed estradiol-induced modulation of CA1 dendritic spines using adult male ERαKO and ERβKO mice. A 2h treatment of estradiol particularly increased the density of middle-head spines (diameter 0.3-0.4µm) in wild type mouse hippocampal slices. The enhancement of spinogenesis was completely suppressed by MAP kinase inhibitor. Estradiol-induced increase in middle-head spines was observed in ERβKO mice (which express ERα), but not in ERαKO, indicating that ERα is necessary for the spinogenesis. Direct observation of the dynamic estradiol-induced enhancing effect on rapid spinogenesis was performed using time-lapse imaging of spines in hippocampal live slices from yellow fluorescent protein expressed mice. Both appearance and disappearance of spines occurred, and the number of newly appeared spines was significantly greater than that of disappeared spines, resulting in the net increase of the spine density within 2h. As another type of synaptic modulation, we observed that estradiol rapidly enhanced N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-induced long-term depression (LTD) in CA1 of the wild type mouse hippocampus. In contrast, estradiol did not enhance NMDA-LTD in ERαKO mice, indicating the involvement of ERα in the estrogen signaling. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Brain and Memory. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Brain Research 12/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.brainres.2014.12.002 · 2.83 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Hormones regulate homeostasis by communicating through the bloodstream to the body's organs, including the brain. As homeostatic regulators of brain function, some hormones exert neuroprotective actions. This is the case for the ovarian hormone 17β-oestradiol, which signals through oestrogen receptors (ERs) that are widely distributed in the male and female brain. Recent discoveries have shown that oestradiol is not only a reproductive hormone but also a brain-derived neuroprotective factor in males and females and that ERs coordinate multiple signalling mechanisms that protect the brain from neurodegenerative diseases, affective disorders and cognitive decline.
    Nature reviews Neuroscience 11/2014; 16(1). DOI:10.1038/nrn3856 · 31.38 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Estradiol (E2) is locally synthesized within the hippocampus in addition to the gonads. Rapid modulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity by E2 is essential for synaptic regulation. Molecular mechanisms of modulation through synaptic estrogen receptor (ER) and its downstream signaling, however, have been still unknown. We investigated induction of LTP by the presence of E2 upon weak theta burst stimulation (weak-TBS) in CA1 region of adult male hippocampus. Since only weak-TBS did not induce full-LTP, weak-TBS was sub-threshold stimulation. We observed LTP induction by the presence of E2, after incubation of hippocampal slices with 10nM E2 for 30min, upon weak-TBS. This E2-induced LTP was blocked by ICI, an ER antagonist. This E2-LTP induction was inhibited by blocking Erk MAPK, PKA, PKC, PI3K, NR2B and CaMKII, individually, suggesting that Erk MAPK, PKA, PKC, PI3K and CaMKII may be involved in downstream signaling for activation of NMDA receptors. Interestingly, dihydrotestosterone suppressed the E2-LTP. We also investigated rapid changes of dendritic spines (= postsynapses) in response to E2, using hippocampal slices from adult male rats. We found 1nM E2 increased the density of spines by approximately 1.3-fold within 2h by imaging Lucifer Yellow-injected CA1 pyramidal neurons. The E2-induced spine increase was blocked by ICI. The increase in spines was suppressed by blocking PI3K, Erk MAPK, p38 MAPK, PKA, PKC, LIMK, CaMKII or calcineurin, individually. On the other hand, blocking JNK did not inhibit the E2-induced spine increase. Taken together, these results suggest that E2 rapidly induced LTP and also increased the spine density through kinase networks that are driven by synaptic ER. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Brain Research 01/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.brainres.2014.12.056 · 2.83 Impact Factor