Acevedo, S. F., Tittle, S., Merry, D. E. and Raber, J. Transgenic Expression of Androgen Receptors Improves Spatial Memory Retention in both Sham-Irradiated and 137Cs γ-Irradiated Female Mice. Radiat. Res. 170, 572–578 (2008).
Using a water maze, it has been shown that both wild-type and apoE4-expressing female mice are at greater risk of developing age-related hippocampal-dependent impairments in spatial learning and memory than age-matched male mice of the same genotype. In addition, apoE4-expressing female mice were more sensitive to 137Cs γ-radiation-induced impairment in spatial learning and memory than age-matched male mice of the same genotype. These findings imply that androgen receptors (ARs) contribute to spatial learning and memory, posing the question as to whether transgenic expression of AR in female mice might modulate hippocampal-dependent learning and memory under baseline conditions and after local brain irradiation. Hippocampal-dependent novel location recognition was comparable in wild-type and AR-Tg female mice. This function was impaired after irradiation in AR-Tg but not wild-type mice. In contrast, sham-irradiated wild-type and AR-Tg female mice showed hippocampal-independent novel location recognition, and this was not affected by radiation. After the second day of hidden platform training, in a water maze probe trial, sham-irradiated and irradiated AR-Tg female mice showed spatial memory retention but irradiated wild-type mice did not. After the third day of hidden platform training, only irradiated wild-type female mice did not show spatial memory retention in the water maze probe trial. Both sham-irradiated and irradiated wild-type and AR-Tg female mice showed passive avoidance learning and memory. These data support an important role for AR in spatial memory retention in water maze probe trials in female mice under baseline conditions and after cranial irradiation.