Intrahippocampal glucocorticoids generated by 11ß-HSD1 affect memory in aged mice. (2015)


11Beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11ß-HSD1) locally amplifies active glucocorticoids within specific tissues including in brain. In the hippocampus, 11ß-HSD1 messenger RNA increases with aging. Here, we report significantly greater increases in intrahippocampal corticosterone (CORT) levels in aged wild-type (WT) mice during the acquisition and retrieval trials in a Y-maze than age-matched 11ß-HSD1(-/-) mice, corresponding to impaired and intact spatial memory, respectively. Acute stress applied to young WT mice led to increases in intrahippocampal CORT levels similar to the effects of aging and impaired retrieval of spatial memory. 11ß-HSD1(-/-) mice resisted the stress-induced memory impairment. Pharmacologic inhibition of 11ß-HSD1 abolished increases in intrahippocampal CORT levels during the Y-maze trials and prevented spatial memory impairments in aged WT mice. These data provide the first in vivo evidence that dynamic increases in hippocampal 11ß-HSD1 regenerated CORT levels during learning and retrieval play a key role in age- and stress-associated impairments of spatial memory.

Bibliographic Information

Digital Object Identifier:

PubMed Identifier: 25109766

Publication URI:

Type: Journal Article/Review

Volume: 36

Parent Publication: Neurobiology of aging

Issue: 1

ISSN: 0197-4580