UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Premarin has opposing effects on spatial learning, neural activation, and serum cytokine levels in middle-aged female rats depending on reproductive history Galea, Liisa A. M.; Roes, Meighen Maria; Dimech, Christiana J.; Chow, Carmen; Mahmoud, Rand; Lieblich, Stephanie E.; Duarte-Guterman, Paula


Menopause is associated with cognitive decline, and hormone therapies (HT) may improve cognition depending on type, and timing of HT. Previous parity may influence cognition in later life. We investigated how primiparity and long-term ovariectomy influence cognition, neurogenesis, hormones, cytokines, and neuronal activation in middle-aged rats in response to Premarin, an HT. Nulliparous and primiparous rats were sham-ovariectomized or ovariectomized, administered vehicle or Premarin six months later, and all rats were trained in the Morris water maze. Premarin improved spatial learning and memory in nulliparous rats, but impaired early learning in primiparous rats. With training, primiparity increased hippocampal neurogenesis, and Premarin decreased immature neurons, regardless of parity. Moreover, Premarin increased serum tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α and the CXC chemokine ligand 1 (CXCL1) in nulliparous, but not primiparous, trained rats. However, Premarin decreased the expression of the immediate early gene zif268 in the dorsal CA3 region in primiparous rats after training. Thus, primiparity alters how Premarin affects spatial learning, neuronal activation, and serum cytokines. These findings have implications for the treatment of age-associated cognitive decline in women.

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