Behaviour 2019
Sex Differences in the Role of Estradiol on Spatial and Motor Tasks after Cerebellar Lesion in the Zebra Finch
LeMarcus Echoles, Cat Kania, Lainy Day. University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS, United States

Cerebellum (CB) lesions produce deficits in coordination and spatial cognition with estradiol improving and (E2) and an aromatase (Arom) inhibitor (letrozole-LET) impairing recovery of spatial but not motor skills in zebra finches (ZF). Females have greater CB Arom post-lesion than males while circulating E2 levels are similar, males have higher testosterone (T) levels. Arom in female CB, compared to males, may increase neuroplasticity or just offset lower levels of T to aromatize to E2. We compared CB lesion-induced spatial and motor deficits in ZF of both sexes. Groups were: sham lesion, lesion+LET or + saline, and lesion+LET+E2 implant. We found complex patterns of sex-specific behaviors in Shams and in reponse to treatment suggesting LET produced less deficits in females consistent with their post-CB Arom upregulation. Due to variability, we are increasing sample sizes up from n=6/group, thus we hesitate to make a conclusory statement at this time.