Section 11
Chapter 10,751

High levels of estradiol impair spatial performance in the Morris water maze and increase 'depressive-like' behaviors in the female meadow vole

Galea, L.A.M.; Lee, T.T-Y.; Kostaras, X.; Sidhu, J.A.; Barr, A.M.

Physiology and Behavior 77(2-3): 217-225


ISSN/ISBN: 0031-9384
PMID: 12419397
DOI: 10.1016/s0031-9384(02)00849-1
Accession: 010750055

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The present study investigated sex differences and the effect of a high level of estradiol in the female meadow vole on performance in the forced swim test (FST) and the Morris water maze in meadow voles. Female meadow voles were ovariectomized (OVX) and administered either vehicle (sesame oil) or estradiol for 2 days prior to performing the FST. Four days following the FST, all animals were run in the Morris water maze. Results indicated that estradiol-injected female meadow voles showed more 'depressive-like' behaviors in the FST (greater time spent immobile and less time spent swimming) than vehicle-treated female or male meadow voles. In addition, estradiol-treated females had impaired performance (greater latencies and distance swum to reach the hidden platform) than both vehicle-treated female and male meadow voles, consistent with previous data. Despite the fact that estradiol administration increased 'depressive-like' behaviors in the FST and impaired performance in the Morris water maze, there was no correlation between the two behaviors indicating that 'depressive-like' behaviors did not account for the differences seen in spatial performance in the Morris water maze. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration in rodents indicating that estradiol-mediated changes in behavior in the FST is not indicative of subsequent performance in the Morris water maze.

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