Paraphrasing the abstract: Glucocorticoids, the adrenal steroid hormones secreted during stress, can impair memory. Estrogen can enhance spatial memory and can block at least some of the bad effects of glucocorticoids on memory. Andrea Nicholas, Carolina D. Munhoz, Deveroux Ferguson, Laura Campbell and Robert Sapolsky constructed a chimeric gene (“ER/GR”) containing the hormone-binding domain of the glucocorticoid receptor and the DNA binding domain of the estrogen receptor. As a result, ER/GR transduces deleterious glucocorticoid signals into beneficial estrogen signals.
They tested this gene on male mice with a water maze. They found that it enhances spatial memory and blocks the impairing effects of stress.
Andrea Nicholas, Carolina D. Munhoz, Deveroux Ferguson, Laura Campbell and Robert Sapolsky. Enhancing Cognition after Stress with Gene Therapy. J. Neurosci. 26: 11637-11643.