Ovarian steroids regulate gene expression in the dorsal raphe of old female macaques.

Cynthia L Bethea, Steven G Kohama, Arubala Reddy, Henryk F Urbanski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With extended life spans in modern humans, menopause has become a significant risk factor for depression, anxiety, loss of cognitive functions, weight gain, metabolic disease, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative diseases. Clinical studies have found beneficial neural effects of ovarian steroid hormone therapy (HT) during the menopausal transition and data are emerging that it can be continued long term. To further understand molecular underpinnings of the clinical studies, we used quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) to examine gene expression in the serotonergic dorsal raphe of old (>18 years) rhesus macaques, focusing on genes related to depression, cellular resilience, and neurodegenerative diseases. The animals were ovariectomized (Ovx, surgically menopausal) and subjected to either estradiol or estradiol plus progesterone HT, or to placebo, starting 2 months after Ovx and continuing for ∼ 4 years. Significant changes were
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-91
JournalNeurobiol. Aging
StatePublished - Dec 2015


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