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Effects of estrogen on learning and memoru.

EFFECTS OF ESTROGEN ON LEARNING AND MEMORU. CAROLHARDEN, DEPT OF BIOLOGY, UNIV OF ALA., BIRMINGHAM, AL 35294. KAI WANG PH.D. AND LORI L. MCMAHON, PH.D., DEPT OF CELLULAR, DEVELOPMENTAL, AND INTEGRATIVE BIOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA BIRMINGHAM, AL 35294.

Learning is the process in which new information is acquired and requires cellular modifications that occur in the hippocampus. Increases in phosphorylation of the extracellular regulated protein kinase (ERK), a subfamily of MAPKs alter synaptic efficacy and learning and memory. Surges in plasma 17[beta] estradiol (E2) levels can increase synaptic plasticity, suggesting the importance of E2 in cognitive function. In both human and animals studies, elevated levels of estrogen have been associated with an enhancement in learning and memory. Moreover during reproductive senescence, many women report decreased cognitive function. Our lab has shown a tight correlation of the estrogen-induced enhancement in memory to be highly dependent upon increases in NR2B -containing NMDARs because this enhancement is prevented when NR2Bs are pharmacologically blocked in hippocampus in vivo. In this study we hypothesized the mechanisms downstream of NR2Bs, ERK, are increased by E2 and the increase is correlative with the increases in learning and memory previously shown. We are able to establish the relationship between ERK activity and synaptic activity through the use of Western blots and immunohistochemistry suggesting that these events are coupled to each other.

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Title Annotation:Biological Sciences Paper Abstracts
Publication:Journal of the Alabama Academy of Science
Article Type:Author abstract
Date:Apr 1, 2014
Words:226
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