Affordable Access

Estradiol improves cerebellar memory formation by activating estrogen receptor beta.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Neuroscience
1529-2401
Publisher
Society for Neuroscience
Publication Date
Volume
27
Issue
40
Pages
10832–10839
Identifiers
PMID: 17913916
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Learning motor skills is critical for motor abilities such as driving a car or playing piano. The speed at which we learn those skills is subject to many factors. Yet, it is not known to what extent gonadal hormones can affect the achievement of accurate movements in time and space. Here we demonstrate via different lines of evidence that estradiol promotes plasticity in the cerebellar cortex underlying motor learning. First, we show that estradiol enhances induction of long-term potentiation at the parallel fiber to Purkinje cell synapse, whereas it does not affect long-term depression; second, we show that estradiol activation of estrogen receptor beta receptors in Purkinje cells significantly improves gain-decrease adaptation of the vestibulo-ocular reflex, whereas it does not affect general eye movement performance; and third, we show that estradiol increases the density of parallel fiber to Purkinje cell synapses, whereas it does not affect the density of climbing fiber synapses. We conclude that estradiol can improve motor skills by potentiating cerebellar plasticity and synapse formation. These processes may be advantageous during periods of high estradiol levels of the estrous cycle or pregnancy.

Statistics

Seen <100 times