Estrogen promotes stress sensitivity in a prefrontal cortex-amygdala pathway

Rebecca M. Shansky, Carine Hamo, Patrick R. Hof, Wendy Lou, Bruce S. McEwen, John Morrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

96 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We have recently reported in male rats that medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) neurons that project to the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) are resilient to stress-induced dendritic remodeling. The present study investigated whether this also occurs in female rats. This pathway was identified using the retrograde tracer Fast Blue injected into the BLA of ovariectomized female rats with estrogen replacement (OVX + E) and without (OVX + veh). Animals were exposed for 10 days either to 2-h immobilization stress or to home cage rest, after which layer III mPFC neurons that were either retrogradely labeled by Fast Blue or unlabeled were filled with Lucifer Yellow and analyzed for apical dendritic length and spine density. No dendritic remodeling occurred in unlabeled neurons from OVX + veh or OVX + E animals. In BLA-projecting neurons, however, stress had no effect on length in OVX + veh animals, but stressed OVX + E females showed greater dendritic length than controls at intermediate branches. Stress also caused an increase in spine density in all neurons in OVX + veh animals and a spine density increase in BLA-projecting neurons in OVX + E females. Estrogen also increased spine density on BLA-projecting neurons in unstressed animals. These data demonstrate both independent effects of estrogen on pyramidal cell morphology and effects that are interactive with stress, with the BLA-projecting neurons being sensitive to both kinds of effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2560-2567
Number of pages8
JournalCerebral Cortex
Volume20
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Amygdala
Prefrontal Cortex
Estrogens
Neurons
Neuronal Plasticity
Spine
Dendritic Spines
Estrogen Replacement Therapy
Pyramidal Cells
Immobilization
Basolateral Nuclear Complex

Keywords

  • connectivity
  • dendritic arborization
  • medial prefrontal cortex
  • neural plasticity
  • sex difference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this

Estrogen promotes stress sensitivity in a prefrontal cortex-amygdala pathway. / Shansky, Rebecca M.; Hamo, Carine; Hof, Patrick R.; Lou, Wendy; McEwen, Bruce S.; Morrison, John.

In: Cerebral Cortex, Vol. 20, No. 11, 01.11.2010, p. 2560-2567.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Shansky, Rebecca M. ; Hamo, Carine ; Hof, Patrick R. ; Lou, Wendy ; McEwen, Bruce S. ; Morrison, John. / Estrogen promotes stress sensitivity in a prefrontal cortex-amygdala pathway. In: Cerebral Cortex. 2010 ; Vol. 20, No. 11. pp. 2560-2567.
@article{9ee4a2f459054ea2831466fabf596442,
title = "Estrogen promotes stress sensitivity in a prefrontal cortex-amygdala pathway",
abstract = "We have recently reported in male rats that medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) neurons that project to the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) are resilient to stress-induced dendritic remodeling. The present study investigated whether this also occurs in female rats. This pathway was identified using the retrograde tracer Fast Blue injected into the BLA of ovariectomized female rats with estrogen replacement (OVX + E) and without (OVX + veh). Animals were exposed for 10 days either to 2-h immobilization stress or to home cage rest, after which layer III mPFC neurons that were either retrogradely labeled by Fast Blue or unlabeled were filled with Lucifer Yellow and analyzed for apical dendritic length and spine density. No dendritic remodeling occurred in unlabeled neurons from OVX + veh or OVX + E animals. In BLA-projecting neurons, however, stress had no effect on length in OVX + veh animals, but stressed OVX + E females showed greater dendritic length than controls at intermediate branches. Stress also caused an increase in spine density in all neurons in OVX + veh animals and a spine density increase in BLA-projecting neurons in OVX + E females. Estrogen also increased spine density on BLA-projecting neurons in unstressed animals. These data demonstrate both independent effects of estrogen on pyramidal cell morphology and effects that are interactive with stress, with the BLA-projecting neurons being sensitive to both kinds of effects.",
keywords = "connectivity, dendritic arborization, medial prefrontal cortex, neural plasticity, sex difference",
author = "Shansky, {Rebecca M.} and Carine Hamo and Hof, {Patrick R.} and Wendy Lou and McEwen, {Bruce S.} and John Morrison",
year = "2010",
month = "11",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1093/cercor/bhq003",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "20",
pages = "2560--2567",
journal = "Cerebral Cortex",
issn = "1047-3211",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",
number = "11",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Estrogen promotes stress sensitivity in a prefrontal cortex-amygdala pathway

AU - Shansky, Rebecca M.

AU - Hamo, Carine

AU - Hof, Patrick R.

AU - Lou, Wendy

AU - McEwen, Bruce S.

AU - Morrison, John

PY - 2010/11/1

Y1 - 2010/11/1

N2 - We have recently reported in male rats that medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) neurons that project to the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) are resilient to stress-induced dendritic remodeling. The present study investigated whether this also occurs in female rats. This pathway was identified using the retrograde tracer Fast Blue injected into the BLA of ovariectomized female rats with estrogen replacement (OVX + E) and without (OVX + veh). Animals were exposed for 10 days either to 2-h immobilization stress or to home cage rest, after which layer III mPFC neurons that were either retrogradely labeled by Fast Blue or unlabeled were filled with Lucifer Yellow and analyzed for apical dendritic length and spine density. No dendritic remodeling occurred in unlabeled neurons from OVX + veh or OVX + E animals. In BLA-projecting neurons, however, stress had no effect on length in OVX + veh animals, but stressed OVX + E females showed greater dendritic length than controls at intermediate branches. Stress also caused an increase in spine density in all neurons in OVX + veh animals and a spine density increase in BLA-projecting neurons in OVX + E females. Estrogen also increased spine density on BLA-projecting neurons in unstressed animals. These data demonstrate both independent effects of estrogen on pyramidal cell morphology and effects that are interactive with stress, with the BLA-projecting neurons being sensitive to both kinds of effects.

AB - We have recently reported in male rats that medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) neurons that project to the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) are resilient to stress-induced dendritic remodeling. The present study investigated whether this also occurs in female rats. This pathway was identified using the retrograde tracer Fast Blue injected into the BLA of ovariectomized female rats with estrogen replacement (OVX + E) and without (OVX + veh). Animals were exposed for 10 days either to 2-h immobilization stress or to home cage rest, after which layer III mPFC neurons that were either retrogradely labeled by Fast Blue or unlabeled were filled with Lucifer Yellow and analyzed for apical dendritic length and spine density. No dendritic remodeling occurred in unlabeled neurons from OVX + veh or OVX + E animals. In BLA-projecting neurons, however, stress had no effect on length in OVX + veh animals, but stressed OVX + E females showed greater dendritic length than controls at intermediate branches. Stress also caused an increase in spine density in all neurons in OVX + veh animals and a spine density increase in BLA-projecting neurons in OVX + E females. Estrogen also increased spine density on BLA-projecting neurons in unstressed animals. These data demonstrate both independent effects of estrogen on pyramidal cell morphology and effects that are interactive with stress, with the BLA-projecting neurons being sensitive to both kinds of effects.

KW - connectivity

KW - dendritic arborization

KW - medial prefrontal cortex

KW - neural plasticity

KW - sex difference

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77957840834&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=77957840834&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/cercor/bhq003

DO - 10.1093/cercor/bhq003

M3 - Article

C2 - 20139149

AN - SCOPUS:77957840834

VL - 20

SP - 2560

EP - 2567

JO - Cerebral Cortex

JF - Cerebral Cortex

SN - 1047-3211

IS - 11

ER -