Reducing luteinizing hormone levels after ovariectomy improves spatial memory: Possible role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor
Alzheimer's disease and other forms of cognitive decline are significantly more prevalent in post-menopausal women. Decreased estrogen levels, due to menopause or ovariectomy, may contribute to memory impairments and neurodegeneration. Another result of decreased estrogen levels is elevated luteinizing hormone (LH). Elevated LH after menopause/ovariectomy has been shown to impair cognition in both human and animal studies. Lowering LH levels rescues spatial memory in ovariectomized (ovx) rodents, yet the mechanisms of these effects are still unclear. Estrogens appear to exert some of their effects on memory by increasing levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the hippocampus. In these studies, we explored whether lowering LH may act by increasing BDNF. Ovx rats were treated with Antide, a gonadotropin releasing hormone receptor antagonist that lowers LH levels, or with estradiol. Both Antide and estradiol treatment enhanced spatial memory in ovx females. Both were found to be ineffective when a BDNF receptor antagonist was administered. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that both Antide and estradiol increased BDNF expression in the hippocampus. Dendritic spine density on pyramidal cells in CA1 was unchanged by any treatment. These results provide evidence for a relationship between LH and BDNF in the hippocampus and demonstrate that estrogen-increasing and LH-lowering treatments may both require BDNF signaling in order to improve spatial memory.
Bohm-Levine, Nathaniel, Alexander R. Goldberg, Monica Mariani, et al. 2020. "Reducing luteinizing hormone levels after ovariectomy improves spatial memory: Possible role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor." Hormones and Behavior 118: 104590.
Hormones and Behavior
Alzheimer's disease, Estrogen, Luteinizing hormone, Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, Spatial memory