Abstract # 145:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 20, 2009 06:30 PM-09:00 PM: Session 14 (Mission Bay Ballroom CDE) Poster Presentation


L. B. Kurdziel, C. Otolo, D. Putcha and A. Lacreuse
University of Massachusetts, Department of Psychology, Amherst, Massachusetts 01030, USA

The striatal dopaminergic system is involved in the execution of motor movements. Evidence suggests that sex hormones modulate striatal function, and that estrogens may have a neuroprotective effect on age-related motor decline in women. However, a recent study of healthy adult and aged men failed to show an effect of estradiol or testosterone (T) on sequential motor performance (Siegel et al., 2008). As the rhesus macaque is an excellent model of human age-related motor impairment, we tested the effects of chemical castration and T replacement on fine motor function in six young (~5-6 years old) male rhesus macaques. Fine motor performance was assessed by the total time required to remove a Life Saver® candy from metal rods in three different shapes, a straight, an “S”, and a question mark shape. Animals were tested twice a week for a total of eight weeks, including four weeks of chemical castration, and four weeks of chemical castration plus T replacement. Repeated measures analysis of variance of the mean removal time for each shape showed no effect of treatment [F(1,4)=0.009, p=0.930]. There were also no significant correlations between T levels and fine motor performance for any shape. Results indicate that, similar to studies in men, T does not influence motor function in young adult male rhesus macaques. Future studies will investigate whether T benefits motor function in aged monkeys.