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Sex differences in dendritic spine density and morphology in auditory and visual cortices in adolescence and adulthood.


ABSTRACT: Dendritic spines are small protrusions on dendrites that endow neurons with the ability to receive and transform synaptic input. Dendritic spine number and morphology are altered as a consequence of synaptic plasticity and circuit refinement during adolescence. Dendritic spine density (DSD) is significantly different based on sex in subcortical brain regions associated with the generation of sex-specific behaviors. It is largely unknown if sex differences in DSD exist in auditory and visual brain regions and if there are sex-specific changes in DSD in these regions that occur during adolescent development. We analyzed dendritic spines in 4-week-old (P28) and 12-week-old (P84) male and female mice and found that DSD is lower in female mice due in part to fewer short stubby, long stubby and short mushroom spines. We found striking layer-specific patterns including a significant age by layer interaction and significantly decreased DSD in layer 4 from P28 to P84. Together these data support the possibility of developmental sex differences in DSD in visual and auditory regions and provide evidence of layer-specific refinement of DSD over adolescent brain development.

SUBMITTER: Parker EM 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7287134 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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