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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

3alpha,5alpha-THP mediates progestins' effects to protect against adrenalectomy-induced cell death in the dentate gyrus of female and male rats.

Progestins have neuroprotective effects in several in vitro models of neurodegeneration and in vivo in seizure models. The extent to which progesterone's in vivo protective effects may generalize to models not involving seizure processes and whether progesterone's protective effects are modulated by its metabolites have not been comprehensively investigated. The present experiments investigated the effects of progesterone and its metabolites, dihydryoprogesterone (DHP) and 5alpha-pregnan-3alpha-ol-20-one (3alpha,5alpha-THP), to protect the hippocampus from damage induced by adrenalectomy (ADX). In Experiments 1 and 2, progesterone, DHP, or 3alpha,5alpha-THP administration (1 mg/kg sc) to female (Experiment 1) or male (Experiment 2) rats similarly reduced the total number of ADX-induced pyknotic cells in the dentate gyrus compared with vehicle administration. In Experiment 3, blocking progesterone's metabolism to 3alpha,5alpha-THP with coadministration of a 5alpha-reductase inhibitor, finasteride (10 mg/kg sc), in female rats attenuated progesterone's protective effects on cell death in the dentate gyrus. Together, these data suggest that progestins can protect against ADX-induced cell death and that the actions of the progesterone metabolite, 3alpha,5alpha-THP, may underlie these effects.[1]


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