Dehydration impairs cognitive performance in humans and rodents, although studies in animal models are limited. Estrogens have both protective effects on fluid regulation and improve performance in certain cognitive tasks. We, therefore, tested whether sex and gonadal hormones influence object recognition memory during dehydration. Because past studies used fluid deprivation to induce dehydration, which is a mixture of intracellular and extracellular fluid loss, we tested the effects of osmotic (loss of intracellular fluid) and hypovolemic (loss of extracellular fluid) dehydration on object recognition memory. After training trials consisting of exposure to two identical objects, rats were either treated with hypertonic saline to induce osmotic dehydration, furosemide to induce hypovolemic dehydration, or received a control injection and then object recognition memory was tested by presenting the original and a novel object. After osmotic dehydration, regardless of group or treatment, all rats spent significantly more time investigating the novel object. After hypovolemic dehydration, regardless of treatment, both the males and estrous females spent significantly more time investigating the novel object. While the control-treated diestrous females also spent significantly more time investigating the novel object, the furosemide-treated diestrous females spent a similar amount of time investigating the novel and original object. Follow up studies determined that loss of ovarian hormones after ovariectomy, but not loss of testicular hormones after castration, resulted in impaired memory performance in the object recognition test after hypovolemic dehydration. This series of experiments provides evidence for a protective role of ovarian hormones on dehydration-induced memory impairments.
|Journal||Hormones and Behavior|
|State||Published - Aug 2019|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by NIH grant DA035150 and University of Kentucky , College of Arts and Sciences Start-Up Funds. We thank Calista Whorf, Mariah Montgomery, Evelyn Perler-Tomboly, Alexander Schneider, Sahana Holla, and Daniel Abul-Khoudoud for technical assistance.
© 2019 Elsevier Inc.
- Osmotic dehydration
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Behavioral Neuroscience