Testosterone and dihydrotestosterone differentially improve cognition in aged female mice

Ted S. Benice, Jacob Raber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Compared with age-matched male mice, female mice experience a more severe age-related cognitive decline (ACD). Since androgens are less abundant in aged female mice compared with aged male mice, androgen supplementation may enhance cognition in aged female mice. To test this, we assessed behavioral performance on a variety of tasks in 22- to 24-mo-old gonadally intact female mice treated for 6 wk with silastic capsules containing either testosterone (T) or dihydrotestosterone (DHT) or empty capsules (placebo). Compared with placebo-treated mice, spatial memory retention in the water maze was enhanced by testosterone treatment, but not DHT treatment. In contrast, DHT treatment improved passive avoidance (PA) retention, while T treatment only did so marginally. These data support that androgen supplementation in old female mice improves cognitive performance differentially depending upon the type of hormone treatment and cognitive task.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-485
Number of pages7
JournalLearning and Memory
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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