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This study aims to compare the effects of social instability stress on memory and anxiety- and depressive-like behaviour between sham-operated controls and ovariectomised (OVX) rats. Forty adult female Sprague-Dawley rats (8 weeks old) were randomly divided into four groups, (n = 10 per group). These were non-stressed sham-operated control rats, stressed sham-operated control rats, non-stressed OVX rats, and stressed OVX rats. The rats were subjected to social instability stress procedure for 15 days. Novel object recognition, open field, and forced swim tests were conducted after the stress procedure. Serum estradiol, ACTH and corticosterone levels were measured using commercially available ELISA kits. Lower serum estradiol level and uterine weight with higher weight gain were observed in OVX rats compared to sham-operated controls. Serum ACTH, and corticosterone levels were higher in stressed compared to non-stressed groups. Memory deficit and anxiety- and depressive-like behaviour were significantly increased in stressed compared to non-stressed OVX rats but these changes were not seen in sham-operated controls. These results suggest that the high circulating corticosterone acts synergistically with low circulating estradiol to exert negative effects on mood and memory function.


Badriya Al-Rahbi, Rahimah Zakaria, Zahiruddin Othman, Asma' Hassan, Sangu Muthuraju, Wan Mohd Zahiruddin Wan Mohammad. Mood and memory function in ovariectomised rats exposed to social instability stress. BioMed research international. 2013;2013:493643

PMID: 23841073

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