UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Hippocampal learning, memory, and neurogenesis : effects of sex and estrogens across the lifespan in adults Duarte-Guterman, Paula; Yagi, Shunya; Chow, Carmen; Galea, Liisa A. M.

Abstract

There are sex differences in hippocampus-dependent cognition and neurogenesis suggesting that sex hormones are involved. Estrogens modulate certain forms of spatial and contextual memory and neurogenesis in the adult female rodent, and to a lesser extent male, hippocampus. This review focuses on the effects of sex and estrogens on hippocampal learning, memory, and neurogenesis in the young and aged adult rodent. We discuss how factors such as the type of estrogen, duration and dose of treatment, timing of treatment and type of memory influence the effects of estrogens on cognition and neurogenesis. We also address how reproductive experience (pregnancy and mothering) and aging interact with estrogens to modulate hippocampal cognition and neurogenesis in females. Given the evidence that adult hippocampal neurogenesis plays a role in long-term spatial memory and pattern separation, we also discuss the functional implications of regulating neurogenesis in the hippocampus.

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