Abstract Title:

Neuroprotective effects of testosterone on dendritic morphology following partial motoneuron depletion: efficacy in female rats.

Abstract Source:

Neurosci Lett. 2009 Nov 13;465(2):123-7. Epub 2009 Sep 6. PMID: 19735695

Abstract Author(s):

Randall E Wilson, Kellie D Coons, Dale R Sengelaub

Article Affiliation:

Program in Neuroscience and Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, United States.


Motoneuron loss is a significant medical problem, capable of causing severe movement disorders and even death. We have previously demonstrated that partial depletion of motoneurons induces dendritic atrophy in remaining motoneurons, with a concomitant reduction in motor activation. Treatment of male rats with testosterone attenuates the regressive changes following partial motoneuron depletion. To test whether testosterone has similar effects in females, we examined potential neuroprotective effects in motoneurons innervating muscles of the quadriceps of female rats. Motoneurons were selectively killed by intramuscular injection of cholera toxin-conjugated saporin. Simultaneously, some saporin-injected rats were given implants containing testosterone or left untreated. Four weeks later, surviving motoneurons were labeled with cholera toxin-conjugated HRP, and dendritic arbors were reconstructed in three dimensions. Compared to normal females, partial motoneuron depletion resulted in decreased dendritic length in remaining quadriceps motoneurons, and this atrophy was greatly attenuated by testosterone treatment. These findings suggest that testosterone has neuroprotective effects on morphology in both males and females, further supporting a role for testosterone as a neurotherapeutic agent in the injured nervous system.

Study Type : Animal Study

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