Researchers have shown that inhibition of the Tac2 neuronal circuit, involved in the formation of the Memory of fear. The drug has opposite effects according to the gender on the ability to remember aversive events in mice, reducing it in male mice and increasing it in female mice. The study has been published in Nature Communications.
This is the first time that a drug has been shown to produce this opposite effect on the Memory of male and female mice. The study also shows that opposing molecular mechanisms and behaviors can occur in memory formation depending on sex. The research group on translational mechanisms of the memory of fear, led by Raül Andero, professor and researcher at ICREA has been researching the functioning of fear Memory for years to find treatments for pathologies associated with traumatic experiences, such as post-traumatic stress and phobias.
Antonio Florido, INc-UAB predoctoral researcher and first author of the article said that these results demonstrate the ability that hormones have to modulate the formation of fear Memory and show the need to consider sex differences and hormonal cycles in the design of pharmacological treatments for psychiatric disorders. In the field of neuroscience, only one study on females is published for every 5.5 on males. The research on the Tac2 pathway has also been done mostly in males.