Mirjam I. Schubert1, Simon Beckett2, Clare Spicer2, Charles A. Marsden2, Dorothee P. Auer1
1Division of Academic Radiology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK; 2School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
Hippocampal volume loss and memory impairment in humans and rodents supposedly result from elevated glucocorticoids. To prove this hypothesis rats were chronically treated with high-dose endogenous corticosterone and investigated for spatial memory deficits and volumetric changes in the hippocampus by in vivo MRI at 7T. Bilateral hippocampal volume loss (7-8%) and spatial memory deficits were found in corticosterone compared to vehicle treated rats supporting the hypothesis that chronic stress level endogenous glucocorticoids directly induce hippocampal volume loss associated with spatial memory deficits.