Beta estrogen receptor knockout (BERKO) mice present attenuated hippocampal CA1 long-term potentiation and related memory deficits in contextual fear conditioning.Behav Brain Res. 2005 Oct 14; 164(1):128-31.BB
Estrogen has marked effects on hippocampal synaptic plasticity. We demonstrate that male and female 3-month-old beta estrogen receptor knockout (BERKO) mice show profound memory impairment in a hippocampus-mediated fear-conditioning paradigm. Subsequently, hippocampal slices prepared from behaviorally naive female BERKO mice were examined electrophysiologically. These were found to have robust synaptic deficits, compared to slices from age-matched wild type controls, both in terms of their input-output curves and their expression of long-term-potentiation in area CA1. This report provides the first concrete evidence of significant hippocampal synaptic plasticity and memory deficits in the BERKO mouse.