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Frontiers news briefs: May 23
Date:5/23/2013

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Spatial learning of female mice: a role of the mineralocorticoid receptor during stress and the estrous cycle

In a stressful situation, rodents produce the stress hormone corticosterone. This helps the animal, because spatial learning is promoted when corticosterone binds to one of the stress hormone receptors (mineralocorticoid receptors) in the hippocampus, a region of the brain. Judith ter Horst and colleagues from Leiden University here show that female mice that lack the gene for the mineralocorticoid receptor in the forebrain have difficulty finding their way home through a maze, especially shortly before ovulation. The interaction between female sex hormones and stress hormones could result in worsening of spatial learning. There was also an interaction with stress: it was easier for mutant females to find their way home after they had been briefly and gently restrained, probably due to an increase in corticosterone levels in the blood. Ter Horst and colleagues conclude that mineralocorticoid receptors are necessary for efficient spatial learning by female mice.

URL: http://www.frontiersin.org/Behavioral_Neuroscience/10.3389/fnbeh.2013.00056/abstract

Researcher contact:

Dr Judith ter Horst
Division of Medical Pharmacology
Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research and Leiden University Medical Center
Leiden University
Tel: +31 205257719
Email: j.p.f.terhorst@uva.nl


Frontiers in Neuroscience

Abrupt changes in the patterns and complexity of anterior cingulate cortex activity

It simply feels good to regain your bearings after getting lost, especially when you are hungry and had been looking for a particular restaurant. Jeremy Seamans and colleagues from the University of B
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Contact: Gozde Zorlu
gozde.zorlu@frontiersin.org
Frontiers
Source:Eurekalert

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