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Behav Neurosci. 2004 Apr;118(2):306-13.

Estrogen and/or progesterone administered systemically or to the amygdala can have anxiety-, fear-, and pain-reducing effects in ovariectomized rats.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University at Albany--State University of New York, Albany, NY 12222, USA.


Estrogen (E2) and/or progesterone (P) in the amygdala may influence anxiety, fear, and pain behaviors. Ovariectomized rats were administered subcutaneous or intra-amygdala vehicle, E2, P, or E2 + P: Effects on open field, elevated plus-maze, defensive freezing, and hot-plate task performance were observed. Subcutaneous E2 + P or intra-amygdala E2, P, or E2 + P increased open field central entries and open arm time in the plus-maze compared with vehicle. Subcutaneous or intra-amygdala E2, P, or E2 + P decreased time spent freezing postshock compared with vehicle. Subcutaneous or intra-amygdala E2 + P increased latencies to lick paws compared with vehicle. Thus, E2 and P may have effects in the amygdala to decrease anxiety, fear, and/or pain responses.

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