Gender and gonadal hormone effects in the olfactory bulbectomy animal model of depression

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2000 Sep;67(1):183-91. doi: 10.1016/s0091-3057(00)00318-x.


Major depressive disorder (MDD) affects women to a greater extent then men; however, the few studies that have examined the role of gender in an animal model of depression have shown inconsistent results. The purpose of the present study was to determine if the gonadal hormone milieu of the animal modulated behavioral changes following olfactory bulbectomy (OBX), a well-documented animal model of depression. Body weight, sucrose preference levels and open-field activity levels were measured once a week for a period of 2 weeks in gonadally intact and gonadectomized male and female rats. Following these baseline measurements, animals underwent either OBX or sham surgery. Body weight, sucrose preference and activity levels were assessed for 4 weeks post-OBX surgery. OBX-gonadectomized animals exhibited higher activity levels than OBX gonadally intact and control animals. This effect of gonadectomy was more robust in males. OBX-females (both intact and gonadectomized) exhibited significantly lower sucrose preference levels than OBX-males (both intact and gonadectomized) and control animals. These results suggest that the gonadal hormone milieu of the animal plays a role in modulating sucrose preference and activity levels following OBX.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Castration
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Dopamine / physiology
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / physiology*
  • Male
  • Olfactory Bulb / surgery*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Serotonin / physiology
  • Sex Factors
  • Sucrose / administration & dosage


  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones
  • Serotonin
  • Sucrose
  • Dopamine