Effects of Androgens on Early Post-ischemic Neurogenesis in Mice

Wenri Zhang, Jian Cheng, Kamila Vagnerova, Yulia Ivashkova, Jennifer Young, Anda Cornea, Marjorie Grafe, Stephanie J. Murphy, Patricia D. Hurn, Ansgar Brambrink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Although androgens are reported to affect stroke outcomes by altering ischemic tissue damage, their effect on post-injury repair is unknown. Since neurogenesis has recently been recognized as contributing to stroke outcomes, we investigated the role of androgens on stroke-induced neurogenesis. Adult male mice were subjected to transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) and neurogenesis was examined 1 week later by quantifying BrdU/doublecortin-positive and BrdU/NeuN-positive neurons in brain germinal regions as well as the injured striatum. To elucidate the role of endogenous androgens, post-MCAO neurogenesis was examined in gonadally intact males, intact males implanted with the androgen receptor antagonist flutamide, and surgically castrated males. Surgical castration or pharmacologic androgen receptor blockade had no effects on post-ischemic neurogenesis, except that continuous androgen receptor blockade unexpectedly suppressed maturation of newborn neurons (BrdU/NeuN-positive cells) in the dentate gyrus. Post-MCAO neurogenesis was also examined in surgically castrated mice treated with continuous release implants containing testosterone or dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Testosterone and DHT robustly inhibited post-ischemic neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus, and the more potent androgen DHT virtually abolished the presence of immature newborn neurons (BrdU/doublecortin-positive cells) in the injured striatum. Our data suggest that endogenous androgens do not alter post-stroke neurogenesis quantitatively, but the presence of supra-physiological androgen stimulation profoundly suppresses early neurogenesis in germinal brain areas and reduces cellular repair in injured tissue after cerebral ischemia. These results advance the understanding of the role that androgens play in stroke outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-311
Number of pages11
JournalTranslational Stroke Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Androgen receptor
  • Androgens
  • Cerebral ischemia
  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • Neurogenesis
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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