Project 5: Actions of estradiol and progesterone on behavior

Clinical and basic science studies suggest that steroids influence many aspects of behavior, including cognition, brain function, emotion, mood, and social behavior. Evidence from both molecular and cellular studies as well as whole animal behavioral models indicates that these behavioral effects are associated with pleiotropic effects of steroid action on the brain. The modulatory effects of gonadal steroids on receptor systems have been linked with a broad range of behavioral effects, including gender differences in sleep, cognition, drug and alcohol abuse, affective and other psychiatric disorders, pain sensitivity, eplileptic seizure disorders, and stress reactivity. The overall aim of Project 5 is to explore the neuropharmacology of estrogen and progesterone using both drug discrimination and functional neuroimaging methodologies. We will combine these two technologies within the same subjects to examine the neuropharmacological effects of estrogen and progesterone and to establish the neuroanatomical regions associated with these neuropharmacological effects. This information will be invaluable for understanding of the neurobiological basis of gender differences in mood and behavior. These studies will have important applied significance in helping to elucidate mechanisms associated with gender differences in medication effects. This information will be essential for the future development of gender-specific medications having selective effects at steroidal receptor sites. Finally, it is likely that these studies will inform and enhance ongoing efforts to develop and evaluate steroid-based medications.

Project 5 investigators:



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