Female mice are more susceptible to radiation-induced cognitive changes than male mice. Previously, we showed that, in female mice, androgens antagonize age-related cognitive decline in aged wild-type mice and androgens and selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) antagonize cognitive changes induced by human apolipoprotein E4, a risk factor for developing age-related cognitive decline. In this study, the potential effects of the SARM ACP-105 were assessed in female mice that were either sham-irradiated or irradiated with ¹³⁷Cesium at a dose of 10Gy. Behavioral testing started 2 weeks following irradiation. Irradiation impaired sensorimotor function in vehicle-treated mice but not in ACP-105-treated mice. Irradiation impaired cued fear conditioning and ACP-105 enhanced fear conditioning in sham-irradiated and irradiated mice. When immunoreactivity for microtubule-associated protein 2 was assessed in the cortex of sham-irradiated mice, there was a brain area × ACP-105 interaction. While ACP-105 reduced MAP-2 immunoreactivity in the sensorimotor cortex, there was a trend towards increased MAP-2 immunoreactivity in the enthorhinal cortex. No effect on MAP-2 immunoreactivity was seen in the irradiated cortex or sham-irradiated or irradiated hippocampus. Thus, there are relatively early radiation-induced behavioral changes in female mice and reduced MAP-2 levels in the sensorimotor cortex following ACP-105 treatment might contribute to enhanced rotorod performance.
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