Intra-striatal estradiol in female rats impairs response learning within two hours of treatment

L. Zurkovsky, S. J. Serio, D. L. Korol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Estradiol treatment administered systemically or directly to the dorsolateral striatum across two days impairs performance on a response task in which rats learn to make a specific body turn to locate food on a maze. Estradiol can act through both slow and rapid signaling pathways to regulate learning impairments, however it is impossible to dissociate the slow from the rapid contributions of estradiol following long exposures. To assess the rapid effects of estradiol on striatum-sensitive learning, we trained rats on a response learning task after either relatively short or long treatments of estradiol infused directly into the striatum. Three-month-old female rats were ovariectomized 21 days before training and received guide cannulae implanted bilaterally into the dorsolateral striatum. For short duration treatments, rats were given bilateral infusions (0.5. μl) of 17β-estradiol-sulfate (0, 5, 50, or 500 nM in aCSF-vehicle) either 2 h or 15 min prior to training. For long duration treatments, rats received a series of estradiol infusions (500 nM) at 48, 24, and 2 h prior to training. Replicating previous findings (Zurkovsky et al., 2007), intra-striatal estradiol treatments given for two days prior to training impaired response learning. Estradiol-induced impairments in performance were also demonstrated 2 h, but not 15 min, after single infusions. Thus, estradiol acts within hours of exposure in the striatum, a structure lacking classical estrogen receptors, to impair response learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)470-477
Number of pages8
JournalHormones and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Caudate nucleus
  • Egocentric
  • Estrogens
  • Habit
  • Learning strategy
  • Memory
  • Navigation
  • Steroid hormones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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