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Sex Steroid Regulation of Vasopressin Levels Secreted by hNT Neurons*

reduced by castration and restored to normal density following testosterone replacement therapy.9

hNT Neurons and Alzheimers Disease

Another topic in neurogenerative research that could benefit from the hNT model system is Alzheimers disease. This disease is known to affect the female population more than the male population, and the females affected by Alzheimers disease suffer more severe forms of dementia.5 Dementia associated with Alzheimers disease is thought to be linked to the cholinergic system.6,7 Animal studies have demonstrated that the cholinergic system and overall brain activity can be enhanced by estrogen treatment.8,9 Recent studies have shown that estrogen stimulates mRNA for new growth of axons and dendrites and enhances gene expression for acetylcholine production.10,11 Several studies of menopausal women undergoing estrogen treatment demonstrate that estrogen directly affects memory.13-15 Interestingly, the male brain is thought to be less affected by Alzheimers due to the neural conversion of testosterone to estrogen by the enzyme aromatase.16 Thus, the normal hormonal milieu associated with aging may be directly responsible for age-related neurodegenerative changes and Alzheimers disease.

hNT Neurons and Sex Steroids

Steroid

Incubation Time
(hours)

Vasopressin
(pg/ml)

Control
'"/>

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