Effects of corticosterone and DHEA on doublecortin immunoreactivity in the song control system and hippocampus of adult song sparrows

Authors

  • Haruka Wada,

    Corresponding author
    1. Advanced Facility for Avian Research, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Biological Sciences, 101 Rouse Life Science Building, Auburn University, USA
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  • Amy E.M. Newman,

    1. Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada
    2. Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British, Canada
    3. Graduate Program in Neuroscience, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British, Canada
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  • Zachary J. Hall,

    1. Advanced Facility for Avian Research, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
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  • Kiran K. Soma,

    1. Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British, Canada
    2. Graduate Program in Neuroscience, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British, Canada
    3. Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British, Canada
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  • Scott A. MacDougall-Shackleton

    1. Advanced Facility for Avian Research, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
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ABSTRACT

Adult neuroplasticity is strongly influenced by steroids. In particular, corticosterone (CORT) and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) can have opposing effects, where CORT reduces while DHEA increases neurogenesis and neuron recruitment. It has been previously shown that in adult male song sparrows, DHEA treatment increases neuron recruitment throughout the telencephalon, including the lateral ventricular zone, while the effect of CORT treatment is restricted to HVC, one of the song control regions. These data suggest that the two steroids may differentially affect proliferation, migration, differentiation, and/or survival of new neurons. To determine if CORT or DHEA alters the migration and differentiation of young neurons, we examined an endogenous marker of migrating immature neurons, doublecortin (DCX), in HVC and hippocampus of adult male song sparrows that were treated with CORT and/or DHEA for 28 days. In HVC, DHEA increased the number of DCX-labeled round cells, while CORT had no main effect on the number of DCX-labeled cells. Furthermore, DHEA increased the area covered by DCX immunoreactivity in HVC, regardless of CORT treatment. In the hippocampus, neither DHEA nor CORT affected DCX immunoreactivity. These results suggest that DHEA enhances migration and differentiation of young neurons into HVC while CORT does not affect the process, whether in the presence of DHEA or not. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 74: 52–62, 2014

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