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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2009 Sep;93(3):337-42. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2009.05.003. Epub 2009 May 14.

Progestogens and estrogen influence impulsive burying and avoidant freezing behavior of naturally cycling and ovariectomized rats.

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  • 1Dept. of Psychology, The University at Albany-SUNY, Albany, NY 12222, USA.

Abstract

Steroid hormones, progesterone and estradiol, may influence approach and/or anxiety behavior. Female rats in behavioral estrous, have elevated levels of these steroid hormones and demonstrate more approach and less anxiety behavior than do diestrous rats. Ovariectomy obviates these cyclic variations and systemic progesterone and/or estrogen replacement can enhance approach and anti-anxiety behavior. However, the role of progesterone and/or estrogen in mediating impulsive, avoidant and/or fear behaviors requires further investigation. We hypothesized that if progesterone and/or estrogen influences impulsivity and/or fear then rats in behavioral estrous would demonstrate less impulsive behavior in a burying task and freezing behavior in a conditioned fear task than will diestrous rats. Ovariectomized rats administered progesterone and/or estrogen would show less impulsive burying and freezing behaviors than will vehicle-administered rats. Experiment 1: Naturally cycling rats were tested in marble burying or conditioned fear when they were in behavioral estrous or diestrous. Experiment 2: Ovariectomized rats were administered progesterone, estrogen or vehicle, then tested in marble burying or conditioned fear. Results of Experiment 1 show rats in behavioral estrous demonstrate less impulsive burying and less freezing behavior than diestrous rats. Results of Experiment 2 show administration of progesterone or both estrogen and progesterone decreases impulsive burying and each decrease freezing behavior compared to vehicle. Thus, progesterone and/or estrogen may mediate impulsive and/or avoidant behavior.

PMID:
19447128
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2744500
Free PMC Article

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