Support for a bimodal role for type II adrenal steroid receptors in spatial memory

Cheryl Conrad, Sonia J. Lupien, Bruce S. McEwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Scopus citations


We investigated the effects of acute adrenal steroid treatment on spatial-memory using the Y-maze and employing adrenal steroid receptor antagonists and agonists. For receptor activation, adrenalectomized rats were injected 2 h prior to their first Y-maze trial with sesame oil (adrenalectomy or SHAM), stress levels of corticosterone, a Type I receptor agonist (aldosterone), or a Type II receptor agonist (RU362). For receptor inactivation, unoperated rats were injected with a Type I receptor antagonist (RU318), a Type II receptor antagonist (RU555), sesame oil, or not injected at all. The findings indicated that spatial memory was impaired when the Type II receptors were blocked (RU555) or highly occupied (corticosterone or RU362) and normal for the other treatment conditions. These data suggest that the Type II receptors may be responsible for the inverted U-shaped relationship between spatial memory and corticosterone levels reported by others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-46
Number of pages8
JournalNeurobiology of Learning and Memory
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1999


  • Corticosteroid
  • Hippocampus
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Type I
  • Type II

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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