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Neuroscience. 2001;102(2):369-79.

Reproductive status influences cell proliferation and cell survival in the dentate gyrus of adult female meadow voles: a possible regulatory role for estradiol.

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  • 1Department of Psychology and Graduate Neuroscience Program, The University of British Columbia, BC, V6T 1Z4, Vancouver, Canada. brandik@interchange.ubc.ca

Abstract

Galea and McEwen [Galea and McEwan (1999) Neuroscience 89, 955-964] found that cell proliferation was suppressed in female meadow voles trapped during the breeding season relative to females trapped during the non-breeding season. We investigated the effect of reproductive status and estradiol level on cell proliferation and cell survival in adult laboratory-reared female meadow voles to control for the variables of age, experience and pregnancy that could confound the results derived from a wild sample. Voles were housed in either a long- or short-photoperiod to simulate season and a male or female cage partner was introduced to influence reproductive status. Because females are reflex ovulators, exposure to a male rapidly induces behavioural estrous and high levels of estradiol. Forty-eight hours after introducing a cage partner, we injected either bromodeoxyuridine or [3H]thymidine to mark cell synthesis and then examined labelled cells 2h (cell proliferation) or five weeks (cell survival) later, respectively. To determine whether estradiol mimicked the effect of reproductive status, groups of reproductively inactive females were given a single injection of estradiol benzoate (10 microg) either four or 48h prior to bromodeoxyuridine labelling. The density of proliferating cells in the granule cell layer and the hilus was elevated in reproductively inactive females compared to reproductively active females and was correlated negatively with serum estradiol level. Exposure to estradiol benzoate initially increased cell proliferation (within 4h) but subsequently suppressed cell proliferation (within 48h). In addition, the density of surviving cells was greater in reproductively inactive females relative to reproductively active females but reproductively active females had a greater rate of cell survival than did reproductively inactive females. Reproductive status did not influence the number of pyknotic cells in the dentate gyrus (at either 2h or five weeks).We conclude that reproductive status regulates cell proliferation in adult female meadow voles, possibly via an estradiol-regulated mechanism. The results from the present study showed that reproductively active female meadow voles have suppressed rates of cell proliferation in the dentate gyrus relative compared with reproductively inactive female meadow voles. Administering estradiol initially (within 4h) elevates the cell proliferation within the dentate gyrus of adult females but subsequently (within 48h) suppresses cell proliferation. However, more new cells survived in females with high endogenous levels of estradiol (reproductively active females). In conclusion, reproductive status regulates the level of cell proliferation and survival through a complex estradiol regulated mechanism(s).

PMID:
11166123
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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