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J Neurophysiol. 2002 Aug;88(2):621-6.

17beta-estradiol benzoate decreases the AHP amplitude in CA1 pyramidal neurons.

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Department of Molecular and Biomedical Pharmacology, University of Kentucky, College of Medicine, Lexington 40536, USA.


Disruption of Ca(2+) homeostasis is hypothesized to mediate several electrophysiological markers of brain aging. Recent evidence indicates that estradiol can rapidly alter Ca(2+)-dependent processes in neurons through nongenomic mechanisms. In the current study, electrophysiological effects of 17beta-estradiol benzoate (EB) on the Ca(2+)-activated afterhyperpolarization (AHP) were investigated using intracellular sharp electrode recording in hippocampal slices from ovariectomized Fischer 344 female rats. The AHP amplitude was enhanced in aged (22-24 mo) compared with young (5-8 mo) rats and direct application of EB (100 pM) reduced the AHP in aged rats. The age-related difference was due, in part, to the increased AHP amplitude of aged animals, since an EB-mediated decrease in the AHP could be observed in young rats when the extracellular Ca(2+) was elevated to increase the AHP amplitude. In aged rats, bath application of EB occluded the ability of the L-channel blocker, nifedipine (10 microM), to attenuate the AHP. The results support a role for EB in modifying hippocampal Ca(2+)-dependent processes in a manner diametrically opposite that observed during aging, possibly through L-channel inhibition.

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