The selective estrogen receptor modulator tamoxifen protects against subtle cognitive decline and early markers of injury 24 h after hippocampal silent infarct in male Sprague-Dawley rats

Caitlin A. Finney, Artur Shvetcov, R. Frederick Westbrook, Margaret J. Morris, Nicole M. Jones*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Silent infarcts (SI) are subcortical cerebral infarcts occurring in the absence of typical ischemia symptoms and are linked to cognitive decline and dementia development. There are no approved treatments for SI. One potential treatment is tamoxifen, a selective estrogen receptor modulator. It is critical to establish whether treatments effectively target the early consequences of SI to avoid progression to complete injury. We induced SI in the dorsal hippocampal CA1 of rats and assessed whether tamoxifen is protective 24 h later against cognitive deficits and injury responses including gliosis, apoptosis, inflammation and changes in estrogen receptors (ERs). SI led to subtle cognitive impairment on the object place task, an effect ameliorated by tamoxifen administration. SI did not lead to detectable hippocampal cell loss but increased apoptosis, astrogliosis, microgliosis and inflammation. Tamoxifen protected against the effects of SI on all measures except microgliosis. SI increased ERα and decreased ERβ in the hippocampus, which were mitigated by tamoxifen. Exploratory data analyses using scatterplot matrices and principal component analysis indicated that SI rats given tamoxifen were indistinguishable from controls. Further, SI rats were significantly different from all other groups, an effect associated with low levels of ERα and increased apoptosis, gliosis, inflammation, ERβ, and time spent with the unmoved object. The results demonstrate that tamoxifen is protective against the early cellular and cognitive consequences of hippocampal SI 24 h after injury. Tamoxifen mitigates apoptosis, gliosis, and inflammation and normalization of ER levels in the CA1, leading to improved cognitive outcomes after hippocampal SI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105016
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalHormones and Behavior
Volume134
Early online date6 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Silent infarct
  • Tamoxifen
  • Neuroprotection
  • Cognition
  • Hippocampus

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The selective estrogen receptor modulator tamoxifen protects against subtle cognitive decline and early markers of injury 24 h after hippocampal silent infarct in male Sprague-Dawley rats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this