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Testosterone During Adolescence has an Enduring Influence on Adult Behavior

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Title: Testosterone During Adolescence has an Enduring Influence on Adult Behavior
Creators: Deshmukh, Varad
Advisor: Nelson, Randy
Issue Date: 2012-12
Abstract: It has recently been accepted that organizational events are taking place in adolescence, in addition to neo- and perinatal phases. These types of events have the potential to lead to lasting behavioral effects in adulthood because the changes made to brain structure by testosterone here are permanent. Previous research has reported a positive relationship between adolescent sex and depressive-like responses. Although mating behavior is associated with increased pulse amplitude and frequency of testosterone secretion, it remains unknown whether the relationship between early exposure to testosterone directly influences subsequent depressive behaviors. In this study, we used Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) to investigate a potential causal relationship and examine potential mechanisms. At birth, male hamsters were randomly assigned to one of five groups: (1) hamsters were administered testosterone (T) during puberty at postnatal day 40 and underwent behavioral assessment starting on day 120 (P40X80), (2) hamsters were injected with T during puberty at postnatal day 40 and assessed beginning at 80 days of age (P40X40), (3) hamsters received an injection of T in adulthood at postnatal day 80 and began assessments on day 120 (P80X40), (4) T was administered to hamsters at postnatal day 80 and were assessed beginning at 160 days of age (P80X80), or (5) hamsters were not given an injection of T. Hamsters underwent behavioral testing in (A) the open field test (OF)- a test of anxiety-like behavior, (B) the elevated plus maze EPM- also for anxiety-like behavior, and (C) the Porsolt forced swim test (FST)- a test for depressive-like behaviors. Hamsters that were exposed to T during adolescence displayed increased anxiety- and depressive-like behavioral responses, as compared to the non-T and adult-T injected hamsters. These results may be useful in understanding how exposure to higher-than-typical concentrations of sex-steroid hormone during adolescence can affect physical and mental health outcomes in humans.
Embargo: No embargo
Series/Report no.: The Ohio State University. Department of Neuroscience Honors Theses; 2012
Keywords: Testosterone
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1811/53193
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