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Lower levels of prepulse inhibition in luteal phase cycling women in comparison with postmenopausal women
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Oncology, Radiology and Clinical Immunology, Radiology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health.
2010 (English)In: Psychoneuroendocrinology, ISSN 0306-4530, E-ISSN 1873-3360, Vol. 35, no 3, 422-429 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Menopause denotes the end of the reproductive period in a woman's life and is characterized by gradually declining plasma levels of ovarian hormones. Mounting evidence suggests that prepulse inhibition (PPI) is sensitive to fluctuations in estradiol and progesterone. Deficits in PPI are associated with conditions characterized by increased levels of ovarian steroids, such as the mid-luteal phase of the menstrual cycle and the third trimester of pregnancy. The aim of the current study was to further elucidate ovarian steroid-related effects on PPI by examining 43 women with regular menstrual cycles, 20 healthy postmenopausal women without hormone replacement treatment (HRT) and 21 healthy postmenopausal women with ongoing estradiol-only or estradiol and progesterone therapy (EPT). Cycling women were tested during the late luteal phase of the menstrual cycle while postmenopausal women were tested on any arbitrary day. The PPI was measured by electromyography. Cycling women exhibited lower levels of PPI than postmenopausal women (p<0.05). There were no differences in PPI between postmenopausal HRT users and non-users. However, postmenopausal women with estradiol serum concentrations in the cycling range had lower PPI than postmenopausal women with low estradiol concentrations (groupxPPI interaction, p<0.05). In conclusion, the results further suggest a role for the ovarian steroids in PPI regulation as PPI is increased in postmenopausal women in comparison to regularly menstruating women examined during the late luteal phase. Furthermore, postmenopausal women with estradiol levels in the cycling range had lower PPI than postmenopausal women with low estradiol levels.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 35, no 3, 422-429 p.
Keyword [en]
Estradiol, Hormone replacement therapy, Menopause, Prepulse inhibition, Progesterone, Startle response
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-124853DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2009.08.004ISI: 000275700000010PubMedID: 19735984OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-124853DiVA: diva2:318058
Available from: 2010-05-06 Created: 2010-05-06 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The Effect of Steroid Hormones in the Female Brain During Different Reproductive States
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Effect of Steroid Hormones in the Female Brain During Different Reproductive States
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Women are twice as likely as men to suffer from depression and anxiety disorders and have an increased risk of onset during periods associated with hormonal changes, such as the postpartum period and the menopausal transition. Furthermore, some women seem more sensitive to normal hormone fluctuations across the menstrual cycle, since approximately 3-5% suffers from premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Why these disorders are so common in women has not been established but there is a probable involvement of the ovarian hormones.

The aim of this thesis was to investigate the effect of the ovarian hormones on the female brain during different reproductive states using psychological tests known to affect brain activity in different ways.

Paper one examined the effect of the ovarian hormones on prepulse inhibition (PPI) on the acoustic startle response (ASR) and comprised cycling women and postmenopausal women. The cycling women had lower levels of PPI compared to postmenopausal women and postmenopausal women with moderate estradiol levels had lower PPI compared to postmenopausal women with low estradiol levels.

Paper two examined the effect of anticipation and affective modulation on the ASR in women with PMDD and healthy controls. Women with PMDD have an increased modulation during anticipation of affective pictures compared to healthy controls during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.

Paper three examined brain activity during response inhibition among women with PMDD and healthy controls by the use of a Go/NoGo task and fMRI. Women with PMDD displayed a decreased activity in the left insula during follicular phase and an increased activity during the luteal phase compared to controls.

Paper four comprised women in the postpartum period and non-pregnant controls to examine brain activity during response inhibition. While this study revealed decreased activity at 4 weeks postpartum compared to 48 hours postpartum we cannot ascertain the role of the ovarian steroids, since none of the significant brain areas correlated with ovarian steroid or neurosteroid serum concentrations.

The results of this thesis demonstrate that the ovarian hormones, or at least various hormonal states, have a probable impact on how the female brain works.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2012. 85 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 787
Keyword
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, Postpartum, Estradiol, Progesterone, Menstrual cycle, Functional magnetic resonance imaging, Response inhibition, Prepulse inhibition, Startle response
National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Research subject
Medical Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-175409 (URN)978-91-554-8402-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-09-14, Gustavianum, Auditorium Minus, Akademigatan 3, Uppsala, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-08-22 Created: 2012-06-06 Last updated: 2013-07-22

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