Male and female Long-Evans adult rats were adrenalectomized and sacrificed 6 weeks later to determine whether dentate gyrus damage would differ in females and males. A subset of adrenalectomized rats of both sexes had significantly reduced dentate gyrus volumes compared to the same sex sham operated rats. The remainder of the male and female adrenalectomized rats which did not have clear dentate gyrus damage had significantly larger dentate gyrus volumes compared to the same sex sham rats. The dentate gyrus volumes of all adrenalectomized rats were significantly correlated with two indices of residual hormonal levels (Na+/K+ ratios and body weight gain 6 weeks after surgery), indicating that endogenous corticosterone levels may be a determining factor in the response of the dentate gyrus to adrenalectomy. These dentate gyrus volumetric changes could not be attributed to tissue shrinkage as there were no changes in CA3 volumes in any of the groups. These results suggest that long-term adrenalectomy can result in either increased or decreased dentate gyrus volumes and that the adrenal steroid levels of each individual adrenalectomized rat may be the factor determining the direction of the dentate gyrus volumetric response.
- Granule cells
- Sex differences
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience