[Role of sex steroids in development of anxiety in female mice]

Ross Fiziol Zh Im I M Sechenova. 2001 Dec;87(12):1680-7.
[Article in Russian]


Level of sex steroid hormones being changed throughout an estrous cycle influences physiological and behavioral features of female subjects. To test how estrogen and progesterone affect the anxiety level in mice the ovariectomy (OVX) followed by hormone treatment was carried out. After 1 week of recovery period estradiol benzonate (20 micrograms, s/c) was injected once a day during 7 consequent days. By the 7th day in addition to EB injection progesterone (500 micrograms, s/c) was also injected. Four hours later the mice were tested in elevated plus-maze to measure the anxiety level. Control animals were treated with sesame oil only. Behavioral data obtained demonstrate that the hormonal treatment altered anxiety state in experimental animals. In plusmaze paradigm, it has been demonstrated that progesterone-treated mice revealed the lowest level of open arm activity. In contrast, these mice showed the highest grooming activity as compared to other experimental groups. Immunohistochemical data on progesterone receptor (PR), immunoreactivity in brain have shown that the manipulation with different hormonal treatments modified the number of PR-ir cells in many brain areas. Our data suggest that sex steroid hormones play an important role in induction of anxiety level, as measured by elevated plus-maze, and this action might be partially mediated through the classical steroid receptors.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anxiety / metabolism*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Estradiol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Estradiol / pharmacology
  • Estrogens / physiology*
  • Female
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Maze Learning / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Ovariectomy
  • Progesterone / pharmacology
  • Progesterone / physiology*
  • Receptors, Progesterone / metabolism


  • Estrogens
  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • estradiol 3-benzoate
  • Progesterone
  • Estradiol