Estrogens and their receptors in the medial amygdala rapidly facilitate social recognition in female mice

Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2018 Mar:89:30-38. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2017.12.021. Epub 2017 Dec 28.


Estrogens have been shown to rapidly (within 1 h) affect learning and memory processes, including social recognition. Both systemic and hippocampal administration of 17β-estradiol facilitate social recognition in female mice within 40 min of administration. These effects were likely mediated by estrogen receptor (ER) α and the G-protein coupled estrogen receptor (GPER), as administration of the respective receptor agonists (PPT and G-1) also facilitated social recognition on a rapid time scale. The medial amygdala has been shown to be necessary for social recognition and long-term manipulations in rats have implicated medial amygdalar ERα. As such, our objective was to investigate whether estrogens and different ERs within the medial amygdala play a role in the rapid facilitation of social recognition in female mice. 17β-estradiol, G-1, PPT, or ERβ agonist DPN was infused directly into the medial amygdala of ovariectomized female mice. Mice were then tested in a social recognition paradigm, which was completed within 40 min, thus allowing the assessment of rapid effects of treatments. 17β-estradiol (10, 25, 50, 100 nM), PPT (300 nM), DPN (150 nM), and G-1 (50 nM) each rapidly facilitated social recognition. Therefore, estrogens in the medial amygdala rapidly facilitate social recognition in female mice, and the three main estrogen receptors: ERα, ERβ, and the GPER all are involved in these effects. This research adds to a network of brain regions, including the medial amygdala and the dorsal hippocampus, that are involved in mediating the rapid estrogenic facilitation of social recognition in female mice.

Keywords: 17β-estradiol; DPN; G-1; GPER; GPR30; PPT.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology
  • Corticomedial Nuclear Complex / physiology
  • Estradiol / pharmacology
  • Estrogens / metabolism*
  • Estrogens / physiology
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / physiology
  • Learning / physiology
  • Memory / physiology
  • Mice
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Estrogen / physiology
  • Recognition, Psychology / physiology*
  • Social Desirability
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology


  • Estrogens
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Estradiol