Cheryl Frye

Cheryl Frye
University at Albany, The State University of New York | UAlbany · Department of Psychology

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337
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Publications (337)
Chapter
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One Health is a principle that takes into account the interactions of humans, animals, the surrounding environment, and how they affect each other. In order to examine this concept in an experimental paradigm, the effects and benefits of wild Alaskan blueberries were compared to those from the continental United States (Lower-48 states) in human an...
Chapter
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The clinical literature and recent studies in our laboratory using rodent models demonstrate that there are individual differences in androgens’ pleiotropic effects across the lifespan that need to be better understood. The question to address that challenges the field is that levels of androgens (current and/or prior) may not drive differing respo...
Article
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Progestogens' (e.g., progesterone and its neuroactive metabolite, allopregnanolone), cognitive effects and mechanisms among males are not well-understood. We hypothesized if progestogen's effects on cognitive performance are through its metabolite allopregnanolone, and not actions via binding to traditional progestin receptors (PRs), then progester...
Article
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Purpose of Review Here, we summarize current knowledge of androgens’ action gained over the recent years. Recent Findings Neurosteroids are produced in the brain and peripheral nerves, independent of endocrine glands have been investigated for how they are regulated, and have actions via non-steroid receptor targets to mediate social, affective, a...
Article
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Among female rats, mating enhances neurosteroid formation in the midbrain ventral tegmental area (VTA; independent of peripheral steroid-secreting glands, ovaries, and adrenals). The sources/targets for these actions are not well understood. In Experiment 1, proestrous rats engaged in a mating paradigm, or did not, and the midbrains had been assess...
Article
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Engagement in sexual behavior can impact neurosteroidogenesis, in particular production of the prohormone testosterone (T) and likely its subsequent metabolism to 5α-androstane-3α-17β-Diol (3α-Diol) or aromatization to estradiol (E2). Androgens and their metabolites vary across the lifespan and impact many behaviors, including cognition, anxiety, a...
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Prenatal stress (PNS) can influence behaviors associated with cognition, reward and emotional regulation, which are controlled by brain areas such as the cortex, hippocampus, hypothalamus, midbrain and cerebellum. Allopregnanolone in these regions modulates behavioral and parasympathetic effects. The current study tested whether exposing pregnant d...
Article
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The neurosteroid, 5α-pregnan-3α-ol-20-one (known as “allopregnanolone” or 3α,5α-THP), is produced in the midbrain ventral tegmental area (VTA), independent of peripheral sources of progestogens, where it has potential actions at N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and GABAA receptors to facilitate rodent sexual behavior. Progestogens can also have anti-anx...
Article
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Finasteride (FIN) is the prototypical inhibitor of steroid 5α-reductase (5αR), the enzyme that catalyzes the rate-limiting step of the conversion of progesterone and testosterone into their main neuroactive metabolites. FIN is clinically approved for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia and male baldness; while often well-tolerated, FIN ha...
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Our research objective is to understand more, through subjective, self-reports on discussion boards/forums, persons' experiences associated with the use of drugs that alter androgen metabolism, such as finasteride. Finasteride is an orally active, specific inhibitor of 5α-reductase, which is localized to many androgen-dependent tissues. Finasteride...
Article
One of the hallmarks of drug abuse is a reduction in the salience of, and motivation for, natural rewards, such as mating. The effects of psychostimulants on male sexual interest and performance are conflicting; use of psychostimulants can produce increases in risky sexual behaviors but have detrimental effects on sexual ability. We hypothesize tha...
Article
Drug use influences sexual behavior, performance, and can be associated with increased sexual risk-taking. Our prior results using an animal model indicate that progestogens contribute to hormonally-mediated changes in sexual behavior of female rodents during acute cocaine exposure. Androgens, such as testosterone, and its metabolite 3ɑ-androstaned...
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There is currently a lack of understanding how genetic background and sex differences attribute to the heterogeneity of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). An animal model of compulsive-like behaviors has been developed through bidirectional selection of house mice (Mus musculus) for high (big cotton nests; BIG mice) and low levels (small nests; S...
Article
Neuroactive steroids are endogenous neuromodulators synthesised in the brain that rapidly alter neuronal excitability by binding to membrane receptors, in addition to the regulation of gene expression via intracellular steroid receptors. Neuroactive steroids induce potent anxiolytic, antidepressant, anticonvulsant, sedative, analgesic and amnesic e...
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Religious-commitment signaling is thought to indicate willingness to cooperate with a religious group. It follows that a desire to signal affiliation and reap concomitant benefits would lend itself to acting in socially desirable ways. Success or failure in such areas, especially where there is conscious intent, should correspond to proximal indica...
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This review explores the effects of female reproductive hormones, estrogens and progestogens, with a focus on progesterone and allopregnanolone, on object memory. Progesterone and its metabolites, in particular allopregnanolone, exert various effects on both cognitive and non-mnemonic functions in females. The well-known object recognition task is...
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Purpose: Our primary objective was to assess associations between urine cortisol as a biomarker of psychological stress and in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes. A secondary objective was to assess associations between toxic metals and cortisol. Methods: Urine and blood specimens were collected from 52 women and 28 male partners completing a fi...
Article
Chronic stress can influence behaviors associated with medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) function, such as cognition and emotion regulation. Dopamine in the mPFC is responsive to stress and modulates its behavioral effects. The current study tested whether exposure to 10 days of chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) altered the effects of acute elevatio...
Article
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Capacity to form progesterone (P4)’s 5α-reduced metabolite, 5α-pregnan-3α-ol-20-one (3α,5α-THP; a.k.a. allopregnanolone) in the brain may be related to facilitation of lordosis among estrogen–primed (E2) mice. We investigated this idea further by comparing effects of endogenous and exogenous progestogens in mice that are deficient in the Type One 5...
Article
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Objective: To determine whether allopregnanolone (AP) may mediate seizure reduction in progesterone-treated women with epilepsy. Methods: The NIH Progesterone Trial compared the efficacy of adjunctive cyclic natural progesterone therapy vs placebo treatment of intractable seizures in 294 subjects, randomized 2:1 to progesterone or placebo, strat...
Article
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Given that the pregnane neurosteroid, 5α-pregnan-3α-ol-20-one (3α,5α-THP), is increased following behavioral challenges (e.g., mating), and that there is behavioral-induced biosynthesis of 3α,5α-THP in midbrain and mesocorticolimbic structures, 3α,5α-THP likely has a role in homeostasis and motivated reproduction and reproduction-related behaviors...
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A novel factor of interest for growth/plasticity in the brain is pregnane xenobiotic receptor (PXR). PXR is a liver factor known for its role in xenobiotic clearance and cholesterol metabolism. It is expressed in the brain, suggesting a potential role for plasticity, particularly involving cholesterol-based steroids and neurosteroids. Mating induce...
Article
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Neurosteroids are cholesterol-based hormones that can be produced in the brain, independent of secretion from peripheral endocrine glands, such as the gonads and adrenals. A focus in our laboratory for over 25 years has been how production of the pregnane neurosteroid, allopregnanolone, is regulated and the novel (i.e., non steroid receptor) target...
Article
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Progesterone and its metabolite, 5α-pregnan-3α-ol-20-one (3α,5α-THP), have actions in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) that are required for lordosis, a characteristic mating posture of female rodents. 17β-estradiol (estradiol) co-varies with progestogens over natural cycles, enhances production of 3α,5α-THP, and is required for successful reproduc...
Article
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are diverse and pervasive and may have significant consequence for health, including reproductive development and expression of sex-/gender-sensitive parameters. This review chapter discusses what is known about common EDCs and their effects on reproductively relevant end points. It is proposed that one way tha...
Article
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Background. Endogenous cannabinoids (eCBs) are involved in the development and regulation of reproductive behaviors. Likewise, prostaglandins (PGs) drive sexual differentiation and initiation of ovulation. Here, we use lipidomics strategies to test the hypotheses that mating immediately activates the biosynthesis and/or metabolism of eCBs and PGs a...
Article
Progestogens have actions in the midbrain ventral tegmental area (VTA) to mediate motivated behaviours, such as those involved in reproductive processes, among female rodents. In the VTA, formation and actions of one progestogen, 5α-pregnan-3α-ol-20-one (3α,5α-THP; 3α,5α-THP), are necessary and sufficient to facilitate sexual responding (measured b...
Article
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Progesterone (P4) facilitates exploration, anxiety and social behaviors in estrogen (E2)-primed mice. Some of these effects may be due to actions of its 5α-reduced metabolite, 5α-pregnan-3α-ol-20-one (3α,5α-THP). In order to address the role of P4 and its metabolite, 3α,5α-THP, a mouse model was utilized. We hypothesized that if P4's metabolism to...
Article
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Progesterone (P4) may influence cognition in part through actions of its 5α-reduced metabolite, allopregnanolone. Ovariectomized mice that were C57BL/6 wildtype (WT), or deficient in the 5α-reductase Type 1 enzyme (5α-reductase knockout; 5αRKO), were administered vehicle, P4, allopregnanolone, or medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA, 4mg/kg SC) after t...
Article
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Progesterone (P4) and its metabolites, rapidly facilitate lordosis of rats partly through actions in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). The study of membrane progestin receptors (mPRs), of the Progestin and AdipoQ Receptor (PAQR) superfamily, has been limited to expression and regulation, instead of function. We hypothesized that if mPRs are require...
Article
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Progesterone (P4) and its product, 5α-pregnan-3α-ol-20-one (3α,5α-THP), act in the midbrain ventral tegmental area (VTA) to alter motivated behaviors, such as mating, and motor and anxiety behavior. Of interest is whether 3α,5α-THP formation requires the pregnane xenobiotic receptor (PXR), which is expressed in the midbrain of rats. The role of PXR...
Article
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Evidence is emerging of the role of membrane progestin receptors (referred to as mPRs herein: members of Progestin and AdipoQ Receptor (Paqr) family) as a novel brain target in mammals, such as rats. In the present study, the role of mPRs in mice was assessed to further elucidate the conservation of this mechanism across species. The brain target i...
Article
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Stressors, during early life or adulthood, can alter steroid-sensitive behaviors, such as exploration, anxiety, and/or cognitive processes. We investigated if exposure to acute stressors in adulthood may alter behavioral and neuroendocrine responses of male rats that were exposed to gestational stress or not. We hypothesized that rats exposed to ge...
Article
Developments in behavioral assessment, autonomic and/or baseline reactivity, psychopharmacology, and genetics, have contributed significantly to the assessment of performance-enhancing drugs in animal models. Particular classes of steroid hormones: androgenic steroids are of interest. Anecdotally, the performance enhancing effects of androgens are...
Article
During the last 10 years, the conference on 'Steroids and Nervous System' held in Torino (Italy) has been an important international point of discussion for scientists involved in this exciting and expanding research field. The present review aims to recapitulate the main topics that have been presented through the various meetings. Two broad areas...
Article
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Immune challenge during pregnancy is associated with preterm birth and poor perinatal development. The mechanisms of these effects are not known. 5α-Pregnan-3α-ol-20-one (3α,5α-THP), the neuroactive metabolite of progesterone, is critical for neurodevelopment and stress responses, and can influence cognition and affective behaviours. To develop an...
Article
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Maternal-offspring interactions begin prior to birth. Experiences of the mother during gestation play a powerful role in determining the developmental programming of the central nervous system. In particular, stress during gestation alters developmental programming of the offspring resulting in susceptibility to sex-typical and stress-sensitive neu...
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Some environmental contaminants interact with hormones and may exert adverse consequences as a result of their actions as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Exposure in people is typically a result of contamination of the food chain, inhalation of contaminated house dust or occupational exposure. EDCs include pesticides and herbicides (such as...
Article
There are estrous cycle differences in affective behaviors of rodents that are generally attributed to cyclic variations in estradiol, progesterone (P) and its metabolites. A question is the role of the steroid metabolism enzyme, 5α-reductase, for these estrous cycle differences. To address the requirement of 5α-reductase, estrous cycle variations...
Article
Psychological, physical and/or immune stressors during pregnancy are associated with negative birth outcomes, such as preterm birth and developmental abnormalities. In rodents, prenatal stressors can alter the expression of 5α-reductase enzymes in the brain and may influence cognitive function and anxiety-type behaviour in the offspring. Progestero...
Article
There are a plethora of whole animal models that are utilized to assess the neurobiological substrates involved in complex constructs affecting the human condition, such as anxiety. One such behavioral measure that utilizes a conditioned response that can be utilized to assess the neurobiological underpinnings of anxiety is the Vogel punished drink...
Article
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Steroid hormones, such as progesterone, are typically considered to be primarily secreted by the gonads (albeit adrenals can also be a source) and to exert their actions through cognate intracellular progestin receptors (PRs). Through its actions in the midbrain ventral tegmental Area (VTA), progesterone mediates appetitive (exploratory, anxiety, s...
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Progesterone may have actions independent of intracellular progestin receptors (PRs) to influence depressive behavior. To investigate this, we examined effects of progesterone (P; 10mg/kg, SC) on the depressive behavior of mice in the forced swim test (FST). In Experiment 1, subjects were 4 to 6 months old, intact or ovariectomized (OVX) female and...
Chapter
Neurosteroids, including 3α-hydroxy-5α-pregnan-20-one (3α,5α-THP), mediate stress-responding, and the function and development of the central nervous system. 3α,5α-THP can be produced in the brain or metabolized from peripheral sources, including the adrenals, gonads, and placenta. 3α,5α-THP has actions to dampen stress-responding and reinstate par...
Article
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Gestational stress may have lasting deleterious effects on neuro-cognitive development of offspring. Progesterone (P), and its 5α-reduced metabolites, dihydroprogesterone (DHP) and 5α-pregnan-3α-ol-20-one (3α,5α-THP), maintain pregnancy, and can have effects on cognitive performance and/or neuronal integrity. However, whether some of the deleteriou...
Article
The nature of progesterone (P₄)'s neuroprotective effects is of interest. We investigated effects of P₄ when administered before, or after, kainic acid, which produces ictal activity and damage to the hippocampus, to mediate effects on spatial performance. The hypothesis was that P₄, compared with vehicle, would reduce decrements in Morris Water Ma...
Article
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Progestogens [progesterone (P(4)) and its products] play fundamental roles in the development and/or function of the central nervous system during pregnancy. We, and others, have investigated the role of pregnane neurosteroids for a plethora of functional effects beyond their pro-gestational processes. Emerging findings regarding the effects, mecha...
Article
Steroid hormones play a critical role in the initiation and maintenance of pregnancy. In particular, the important role that the progesterone metabolite, and neurosteroid, allopregnanolone, may play in fetal and adolescent development is becoming increasingly evident. Unlike steroid hormones, neurosteroids act at nontraditional targets in the centr...
Article
17β-estradiol (E(2)) can enhance reproductive, cognitive, and affective functions; however, the mechanisms by which E(2) has these effects need to be better understood. Pleiotrophic effects of E(2) can occur via traditional and novel actions at various forms of estrogen receptors (ERs). In the central nervous system, trophic effects of E(2) may be...
Article
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Isoflavone-rich diets are associated with reduced menopausal symptoms and lowered risk of cancers of reproductive tissues. Isoflavones may mimic some effects of estrogen by binding to estrogen receptors, and/or altering steroid availability. Despite their potential health benefits, neither the effects, nor mechanisms, of isoflavones are well unders...
Article
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This investigation used a biomarker of sympathetic nervous system activity novel to biocultural research to test the hypothesis that engaging in religious worship activities would reduce baseline stress levels on a non-worship day among Pentecostals. As detailed in Lynn et al. (submitted for publication), stress was measured via salivary cortisol a...
Article
Exposure to chronic predictable stress, such as restraint, can affect performance on spatial memory tasks and these effects have been shown to be sex-specific in rats. It is not known whether unpredictable stress has similar sex-specific effects on spatial memory and whether those effects are present after the stress procedure has ended. Therefore,...
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Among women and female rodents, progesterone (P) influences social affiliation and affect. These effects may be partly due to formation of its 5α-reduced, 3α- hydroxylated metabolite, 5α-pregnan-3α-ol-20-one (3α,5α- THP). Aim: To elucidate whether actions of 3α,5α-THP in the midbrain ventral tegmental area (VTA) are both necessary and sufficient to...
Article
At middle-age, the reproductive capacity of female rats begins to decline. Whether there are consequences for social and reproductive behaviors related to changes in estradiol (E(2)), progesterone (P(4)) and its 5α-reduced metabolites, dihydroprogesterone (DHP) and 5α-pregnan-3α-ol-20-one (3α,5α-THP), is of interest. In Experiment 1, 1-year-old fem...
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The influence of glossolalia or ‘‘speaking in tongues’’ on biological stress and arousal is examined in a sample of Apostolic Pentecostals. Glossolalia is a form of dissociation considered by Pentecostals as possession by the Holy Spirit. Dissociation is a psychological term for partitioning of awareness and widely held to moderate stress, yet this...
Article
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Gestational stress may have lasting effects on the physical and neurocognitive development of offspring. The mechanisms that may underlie these effects are of interest. Progesterone and its 5α-reduced metabolites, dihydroprogesterone and 5α-pregnan-3α-ol-20-one (3α,5α-THP), maintain pregnancy, have neurotrophic effects, and can enhance cognitive pe...
Article
Cognitive decline can occur with aging; however, some individuals experience less cognitive decline than do others. Secretion of ovarian hormones is reduced post-menopause and may contribute to cognitive function. The extent to which hormonal effects may be parsed out from other age-related factors to influence cognition is of interest. Middle-aged...
Article
The mechanisms by which progestogens influence affective behaviors in females are poorly understood despite clear changes in mood/affect that are associated with their decline during menopause. Conjugated equine estrogens (CEE), with or without medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), are commonly prescribed hormone-replacement, but there is heterogeneit...
Article
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In the midbrain ventral tegmental area (VTA), actions of neurosteroids, such as the progesterone metabolite, 5α-pregnan-3α-ol-20-one (3α,5α-THP), can facilitate mating and influence stress-related processes. Some actions of 3α,5α-THP may occur via positive modulation of GABA(A) receptors (GBRs), or negative modulation of N-methyl-D: -aspartate rece...
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Sexual dysfunction, as a result of selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) treatment among women, is relatively common and is a factor in medication compliance. The mechanisms that underlie these side-effects of SSRIs are not well-understood. SSRIs can alter activity of catabolic enzymes that are involved in progesterone's conversion to 5 α-p...
Article
Steroid hormones, such as progestogens and androgens, influence seizures. Progestogens and androgens exert organizational and/or activational effects that may mitigate vulnerability to, and/or expression of, some seizure disorders. Progestogens, such as progesterone (P(4)) and its 5alpha-reduced metabolite, 5alpha-pregnan-3alpha-ol-20-one (3alpha,5...
Article
Ovarian hormones organize and activate neural circuits for reproduction and may also mediate cognition. Research has focused on estradiol's mnemonic effects, albeit progesterone covaries with estradiol and its mechanisms for cognition require attention. Studies tested the hypothesis that cognitive effects of progesterone occur subsequent to its met...
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Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affect approximately 1 in 150 children across the U.S., and are characterized by abnormal social actions, language difficulties, repetitive or restrictive behaviors, and special interests. ASD include autism (autistic disorder), Asperger Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS...
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There are gender differences in prevalence, course, and/or prognosis of schizophrenia. Yet, neurobiological factors that may account for the more favorable outcomes of women with schizophrenia are not well understood. Evidence that the steroid hormone, progesterone (P(4)), may influence mood and/or arousal among some people with schizophrenia led u...
Article
Controversy surrounds the efficacy and safety of 17beta-estradiol (E2)-mimetic therapies to women for treatment of menopausal symptoms. An important question is the nature of the trophic actions of E2-mimetics in the brain for behavioral processes versus in the periphery for beneficial effects related to osteoporosis, or unwanted proliferative effe...
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Some hippocampally-influenced affective and/or cognitive processes decline with aging. The role of androgens in this process is of interest. Testosterone (T) is aromatized to estrogen, and reduced to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is converted to 5alpha-androstane, 3alpha, 17alpha-diol (3alpha-diol). To determine the extent to which some age-rela...
Article
Progesterone can enhance cognitive performance among young and aged mice; however, the mechanisms underlying these effects of progesterone are not well-understood. Aged, mice which lack functional progestin receptors (PRKO), or wildtype mice were administered progesterone (10mg/kg, SC), or vehicle, and learning/memory was evaluated. Progesterone, c...
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Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a constellation of neurodevelopmental disorders associated with disruptions in social, cognitive, and/or motor behaviors. ASD are more prevalent among males than females and characterized by aberrant social and language development, and a dysregulation in stress-responding. Levels of progesterone (P(4)) and its m...