Sex differences in corticotropin releasing factor regulation of medial septum-mediated memory formation
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/4575
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Abstract© 2019 The Authors Stress can disrupt memory and contribute to cognitive impairments in psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. These diseases are more common in men than in women, with men showing greater cognitive impairments. Mnemonic deficits induced by stress are mediated, in part, by corticotropin releasing factor (CRF). However, where CRF is acting to regulate memory, and sex differences therein, is understudied. Here we assessed whether CRF in the medial septum (MS), which projects to the hippocampus, affected memory formation in male and female rats. CRF in the MS did not alter hippocampal-independent object recognition memory, but impaired hippocampal-dependent object location memory in both sexes. Interestingly, males were more sensitive than females to the disruptive effect of a low dose of CRF in the MS. Female resistance was not due to circulating ovarian hormones. However, compared to males, females had higher MS expression of CRF binding protein, which reduces CRF bioavailability and thus may mitigate the effect of the low dose of CRF in females. In contrast, there was no sex difference in CRF 1 expression in the MS. Consistent with this finding, CRF 1 antagonism blocked the memory impairment caused by the high dose of CRF in the MS in both sexes. Collectively, these results suggest that males are more vulnerable than females to the memory impairments caused by CRF in the MS. In both sexes, CRF 1 antagonists prevented MS-mediated memory deficits caused by high levels of CRF, and such levels can result from very stressful events. Thus, CRF 1 antagonists may be a viable option for treating cognitive deficits in stressed individuals with psychiatric disorders.
Citation to related workElsevier BV
Has partNeurobiology of Stress
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