Testicular hormones do not regulate sexually dimorphic Pavlovian fear conditioning or perforant-path long-term potentiation in adult male rats
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We recently reported that Pavlovian fear conditioning and hippocampal perforant-path long-term potentiation (LTP) are sexually dimorphic in rats. Males show greater contextual fear conditioning, which depends on the hippocampus, as well as greater hippocampal LTP. In order to examine the role of circulating gonadal hormones in adult male rats, animals were castrated in two experiments, and Pavlovian fear conditioning and in vivo perforant-path LTP were examined. It was found that sexually-dimorphic LTP and fear conditioning are not regulated by the activational effects of testicular hormones in adult male rats. That is, in every respect, castrated male rats were similar to intact male rats in Pavlovian fear conditioning and hippocampal LTP. It is likely that sexual dimorphism in this system is established earlier in development by the organizational effects of gonadal hormones.
author list (cited authors)
Anagnostaras, S. G., Maren, S., DeCola, J. P., Lane, N. I., Gale, G. D., Schlinger, B. A., & Fanselow, M. S.