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Granule Cells in Aging Rats Are Sexually Dimorphic in Their Response to Estradiol

By Christina L. Williams and Gillian Einstein


Normal aging comprises cognitive decline, including deterioration of memory. It has been suggested that this decline in memory is sexually dimorphic because of the cessation in gonadal steroid secretion that occurs during reproductive aging in female, but not male, mammals. We wondered whether neurons in brain regions associated with learning and memory underwent morphological changes that were dimorphic as well and whether cessation of the secretion of gonadal steroids influenced these morphological changes. To explore these questions, we deprived and restored estrogens to young and old gonadectomized females and males and studied the morphology of dentate granule cells by intracellular dye filling in a lightly fixed slice preparation. We found the following: (1) Aged female dentate granule cells deprived of gonadal steroids longterm have a paucity of dendritic spines compared with youn

Year: 2013
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