The effects of exogenous testosterone on spatial memory in rats
Testosterone (T) is known to affect spatial abilities in men and women. Studies focusing on this relationship showed that both endogenous variability of T and administration of exogenous T, altered mental rotation and spatial visualization. Organizational and activational effects of T can be separately identified. The aim of our study was to evaluate the activational effects of exogenous T on spatial memory in male and female rats. T was administered 3 times a week over a two week period in either 1 mg/kg for low testosterone group or 10 mg/kg for high testosterone group. The Morris water maze was performed to assess the rat’s working and reference spatial memory. T and estradiol levels were measured in plasma. Increase in plasma T levels was confirmed in the experimental groups in comparison to the control groups (receiving sterile oil, 3 times a week over a two week period). Low dose T impaired working, but improved reference memory in female rats. In male rats the negative effects of T (both doses) on reference memory were shown. This experiment showed that the activational effects of exogenous testosterone on spatial memory of rats were gender and dose-dependent.
KeywordsTestosterone Androgens Spatial abilities Sex differences Water maze
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