Proestrous compared to diestrous wildtype, but not estrogen receptor beta knockout, mice have better performance in the spontaneous alternation and object recognition tasks and reduced anxiety-like behavior in the elevated plus and mirror maze

ArticleinBehavioural brain research 196(2):254-260 · January 2009with73 Reads
DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2008.09.016
Abstract
17β-Estradiol (E2) may influence cognitive and/or affective behavior in part via the β isoform of the estrogen receptor (ERβ). Endocrine status and behavior in cognitive (object recognition, T-maze), anxiety (open field, elevated plus maze, mirror maze, emergence), and motor/coordination (rotarod, activity chamber) tasks of proestrous and diestrous wildtype (WT) and ERβ knockout (βERKO) mice was examined. Proestrous (WT or βERKO), versus diestrous, mice had higher E2 and progestin levels in plasma, hippocampus, and cortex. The only effect of genotype on hormone levels was for corticosterone, such that βERKO mice had higher concentrations of corticosterone than did WT mice. Proestrous WT, but not βERKO, mice had improved performance in the object recognition (greater percentage of time with novel object) and T-maze tasks (greater percentage of spontaneous alternations) and less anxiety-like behavior in the plus maze (increased duration on open arms) and mirror chamber task (increased duration in mirror) than did diestrous mice. This pattern was not seen in the rotarod, open field, or activity monitor, suggesting effects may be specific to affective and cognitive behavior, rather than motor behavior/coordination. Thus, enhanced performance in cognitive tasks and anti-anxiety-like behavior of proestrous mice may require actions of ERβ in the hippocampus and/or cortex.
    • "ERb knockout (KO) male and female mice show increased anxiety levels in the OF and EPM compared to wild type mice (Imwalle et al., 2005; Krezel et al., 2001), a phenomenon not present in ERa KO mice (Krezel et al., 2001). Furthermore, the ERb agonist diarylpropionitrile has anxiolytic effects on gonadectomized males (Hughes et al., 2008) but does not reduce anxiety-related behavior on ERb KO mice (Rocha et al., 2005; Walf and Frye, 2008; Walf et al., 2009). Like estrogen, androgens also affect anxiety-related behavior in rodents. "
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    • "They observed that locomotor and cognitive performance of female animals varied according to the estrus cycle of mice, which indicates that female hormones are strong regulators of behavior. However, some authors suggest that locomotor performance in the open field is not affect by estrus cycle variations [56]. The time spent at the corners of the open field evaluates the natural tendency of animals to shelter themselves [7]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anxiety and depressive symptoms are generated after paradoxical sleep deprivation (PSD). However, it is not clear whether PSD produces differential effects between females and males. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of PSD on anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors between sexes. Male and female BALB/c mice were divided in three groups: the control group, the 48-h PSD group and the 96-h PSD group. Immediately after PSD protocols, the forced swimming and open field test were applied. Sucrose consumption test was used to evaluate the middle-term effect of PSD. We found that corticosterone serum levels showed significant differences in the 96-h PSD females as compared to 96-h PSD males. In the open-field test, the 48-h and 96-h PSD females spent more time at the periphery of the field, and showed high locomotion as compared to males. In the elevated plus maze, the 48-h PSD females spent more time in closed arms than males, which is compatible with anxiety-like behavior. The forced swim test indicated that the 96-h PSD males spent more time swimming as compared to the 96-h PSD females. Remarkably, the 96-h PSD males had lower sucrose intake than the 96-h PSD females, which suggest that male mice have proclivity to develop a persistent depressive-like behavior late after PSD. In conclusion, male mice showed a significant trend to depressive-like behaviors late after sleep deprivation. Conversely, female have a strong tendency to display anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors immediately after sleep deprivation.
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    • "Few rodent studies have established that the female sex hormone estrogen can modulate compulsive-like behaviors [33, 37, 58]. The proestrus stage of the estrous cycle in female mice has higher circulating levels of estrogen influencing anxiety-, cognitive-and depression-like behaviors [106, 116] and, therefore, the comparison between males and proestrus females for compulsive-like behaviors may provide additional ways to gain important insights using animal models of OCD. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 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; SMALL mice) of nest-building behavior. The BIG male strains have predictive and face validity as a spontaneous animal model of OCD. Here, we evaluated compulsive-, anxiety-, cognitive-, and depression-like behaviors among male and proestrus female replicate strains each of BIG (BIG1, BIG2) and SMALL (SML1, SML2) nest-builders, and randomly-bred Controls (C1, C2). BIG1 and BIG2 males and females had higher nesting scores when compared to SMALL and Control strains. Male BIG1 and BIG2 strains showed more compulsive-like nesting than BIG1 and BIG2 proestrus females, which was not observed among the other strains. Nesting scores were also different between BIG replicate male strains. A similar pattern was observed in the compulsive-like marble burying behavior with BIG strains burying more marbles than SMALL and Control strains. Significant replicate and sex differences were also observed in marble burying among the BIG strains. The open field test revealed replicate effects while the BIG strains showed less anxiety-like behavior in the elevated plus maze test compared to the SMALL strains. For novel object recognition only the Control strains showed replicate and sex differences. In the depression-like forced swim test proestrus females demonstrated less depression-like behavior than males. BIG and SMALL nest-building strains had a higher corticosterone stress response than the Control strains. Together these results indicate a strong interplay of genetic background and sex in influencing expression of behaviors in our compulsive-like mouse model. These results are in congruence with the clinical heterogeneity of OCD.
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