Silencing Estrogen Receptor-α with siRNA in the Intact Rodent Brain

  • Ana C. RibeiroEmail author
  • Anders Ågmo
  • Sergei Musatov
  • Donald W. Pfaff
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1366)


The ability to silence the expression of gene products in a chemically, spatially, and temporally specific manner in the brains of animals has enabled key breakthroughs in the field of behavioral neuroscience. Using this technique, estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) has been specifically implicated in a multitude of behaviors in mice, including sexual, aggressive, locomotor, and maternal behaviors. ERα has been identified in a variety of brain regions, including the medial preoptic area, ventromedial hypothalamus, and amygdala. In this chapter we describe the techniques involved in the generation of the small hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) specifically designed to silence ERα, the construction of the adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector for delivery of the shRNA, the procedures to confirm the silencing of ERα (in vitro and in vivo) and in vivo delivery of the shRNAs to the brains of animals.

Key words

Adeno-associated virus Estrogenreceptoralpha RNA interference shRNA Behavior Mice 



Funding for these studies was provided by NIH grant HD-05751 to DWP and NHLBI grant HL-086018 to ACR.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana C. Ribeiro
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Anders Ågmo
    • 3
  • Sergei Musatov
    • 4
  • Donald W. Pfaff
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Natural SciencesCollege of Mount Saint VincentBronxUSA
  2. 2.Laboratory of Neurobiology and BehaviorThe Rockefeller UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TromsøTromsøNorway
  4. 4.Laboratory of Molecular NeurosurgeryWeill Medical College of Cornell UniversityNew YorkUSA

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