Subcategory: Physiology and Health
Room: Exhibit Hall
Jade Pastor - Arizona State University
Co-Author(s): Victoria Bernaud, Eric Bandin, Cheryl Dyer, Loretta Mayer, Camryn Lizik, Taena Hanson, Ashley Ruhland, and Heather A. Bimonte-Nelson
Hysterectomy is the second most common gynecological procedure in women, and it often takes place before the onset of natural menopause, an event associated with ovarian follicular depletion. Preclinical work in rats has shown that hysterectomy and experimentally-induced ovarian follicular depletion each individually impact cognition. There have been limited studies evaluating whether hysterectomy is impacted by prior follicular depletion; that is, addressing whether the combination of hysterectomy and follicular depletion initiate a unique series of behavioral and physiological effects. In order to evaluate this interactive question, two rodent models of menopause were combined to create a 2×2 experimental design assessing two independent variables: Follicular Depletion (e.g., experimentally-induced transitional menopause via 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide, VCD, or Vehicle) and Surgery (Hysterectomy, Hyst, or Sham). Thus, the experimental groups were: Vehicle-Sham, Vehicle-Hyst, VCD-Sham, and VCD-Hyst. Vehicle or VCD treatment was administered. Once the timeframe for follicular depletion occurred, subjects underwent sham or hysterectomy surgery. A battery of behavioral tests was then performed; for this poster, we will focus on outcomes for the complex spatial working and reference memory task, the water radial-arm maze, including a delayed memory retention protocol. Other peripheral markers of hormone status and health were also evaluated, including ovary weights, body weights, and uterine weights. Preliminary analyses indicate that hysterectomy, but only in combination with follicular depletion, impaired learning. In addition, rodents that underwent hysterectomy, with or without induced follicular depletion, showed impaired delayed memory retention. Interestingly, hysterectomy improved performance during the late acquisition phase of testing. These preliminary data suggest that some hysterectomy outcomes for cognition are influenced by whether prior follicular depletion has occurred; detailed behavioral analyses and changes in peripheral assessments will be discussed at the poster presentation. Understanding how hysterectomy, combined with varied menopausal backgrounds, alters the brain and its function is vital for understanding the trajectory of neurocognitive changes across age in the female.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This work was supported by the state of Arizona; the Arizona Department of Health Services [ADHS 14-052688]; the National Institute on Aging [AG028084]; and the NIH Arizona Alzheimer’s Disease Core Center [P30AG019610], [P30AG072980].
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Heather Bimonte-Nelson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I performed data collection, confirmation of protocol and procedure outcomes, and data cross-checking procedures as well as statistical analyses and presentation of visuals for data dissemination.