The effects of adult gonadectomy on hippocampal neuron morphology in male mice
The effects of androgens on hippocampal morphology and function are poorly understood. Androgen manipulation has variable effects on neuron morphology and trophic factors in the rat hippocampus, as well as on behavioural measures in a range of male mammals. In mice, by contrast, previous work has suggested that androgens may have trophic effects on hippocampal dendrites, suggesting a possible species difference. Here, we examined the effects of gonadectomy (GDX) on dendritic branching patterns and dendritic spine density in CA1 and CA3 pyramidal neurons, as well as subfield specific BDNF expression in adult male mice. Results show a reduction in CA3 branching, along with a small overall decline in dendritic spine density across CA1 and CA3 following GDX. Further analyses of branching and proBDNF expression suggest CA3 to be sensitive to the effects of surgery. These results support the view that mice and rats may respond very differently to androgen manipulation.