The GPR30 is a novel estrogen receptor (ER) that is a candidate membrane ER based on its binding to 17β estradiol and its rapid signaling properties such as activation of the extracellular-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway. Its distribution in the mouse limbic system predicts a role for this receptor in the estrogenic modulation of anxiety behaviors in the mouse. A previous study showed that chronic administration of a selective agonist to the GPR30 receptor, G-1, in the female rat can improve spatial memory, suggesting that GPR30 plays a role in hippocampal-dependent cognition. In this study, we investigated the effect of a similar chronic administration of G-1 on behaviors that denote anxiety in adult ovariectomized female mice, using the elevated plus maze (EPM) and the open field test as well as the activation of the ERK pathway in the hippocampus. Although estradiol benzoate had no effect on behaviors in the EPM or the open field, G-1 had an anxiolytic effect solely in the open field that was independent of ERK signaling in either the ventral or dorsal hippocampus. Such an anxiolytic effect may underlie the ability of G-1 to increase spatial memory, by acting on the hippocampus.
Keywords: ERK; Elevated plus maze; G-1; open field; rapid estrogen signaling.