Although depression is a severe and life-threatening psychiatric illness, its pathogenesis still is essentially unknown. Recent studies highlighted the influence of environmental stress factors on an individual's genetic predisposition to develop mood disorders. In the present study, we employed a well-validated stress-induced animal model of depression, Learned Helplessness paradigm, in rats. Learned helpless (LH) and non-learned helpless (NLH) rats were treated with nortriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant. The resulting 4 groups (LH vs. NLH, treated vs. non-treated), were subjected to global analysis of protein expression, a powerful approach to gain insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying vulnerability to psychiatric disorders and the long-term action of drug treatments. Many of the biological targets of antidepressant drugs are localized at synapses. Thus, to reduce the complexity of the proteome analyzed and to enrich for less abundant synaptic proteins, purified nerve terminals (synaptosomes) from prefrontal/frontal cortex (P/FC) and hippocampus (HPC) of LH-NLH rats were used. Synaptosomes were purified by differential centrifugation on Percoll gradients and analyzed by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2-DE). Protein spots differently regulated in the various comparisons were excised from gels and identified by mass spectrometry. Proteins involved in energy metabolism and cellular remodeling were primarily dysregulated, when LH and NLH rats were compared. Moreover, several proteins (aconitate hydratase, pyruvate dehydrogenase E1, dihydropyrimidinase-related protein-2 and stathmin) were found to be regulated in opposite directions by stress and drug treatment. These proteins could represent new molecular correlates of both vulnerability to stress and response to drugs, and putative targets for the development of novel drugs with antidepressant action. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Trends in neuropharmacology: in memory of Erminio Costa'.
"Although a role for these particular heat-shock proteins in human depression has yet to be identified, preclinical models have identified HSPA8 and HSPD1 as proteins regulated subsequent to chronic stress , . In addition, HSPD1 is a protein shown to be induced by antidepressant treatment . The fact that the current study found higher expression of both proteins under basal conditions in EC versus IC rats, one might hypothesize that these proteins might underlie the EC diminished response to an acute stressor. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Our prior research has shown that environmental enrichment (i.e. rats reared in an environment with novel objects, social contact with conspecifics) produces a protective antidepressant-like phenotype in rats and decreases neurobiological effects of acute psychological stress. Although CREB activity has been identified as a major player, the downstream molecular mechanisms remain largely unexplored. Thus, the current study investigates proteomic differences in the accumbens of rats raised in an enriched condition (EC) versus those raised in an isolated control condition (IC) under basal conditions and after 30 min of acute restraint stress. Results showed that under basal conditions, EC rats generally expressed less mitochondria-related proteins, particularly those involved in TCA cycle and electron transport compared to IC rats. After 30 min of acute stress, EC rats displayed increased expression of energy metabolism enzymes (among others) while IC rats exhibited decreased expression of similar proteins. Further, network and pathway analyses also identified links to AKT signaling proteins, 14-3-3 family proteins, heat-shock proteins, and ubiquitin-interacting proteins. The protein ENO1 showed marked differential expression and regulation; EC rats expressed higher levels under basal conditions that increased subsequent to stress, while the basal IC expression was lower and decreased further still after stress. The results of this study define differential protein expression in a protective rat model for major depression and additionally identify a dynamic and coordinated differential response to acute stress between the two groups. These results provide new avenues for exploration of the molecular determinants of depression and the response to acute stress.
PLoS ONE 09/2013; 8(9):e73689. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0073689 · 3.23 Impact Factor
"This protocol resulted in 55 % of animals expressing the LH behavior (escape latencies ≥15 s on the test session, as described below) and was employed thereafter. Interestingly, these experimental conditions are intermediate regarding the least (Mallei et al. 2011) and the most (Nakagawa et al. 1999; Saade et al. 2003; Song et al. 2006; Takamori et al. 2001b) intense conditions recorded in the literature. Because previous studies (Stewart et al. 1990) failed to find any effect of lighting on escape performance after inescapable foots hocks, experiments were performed in the morning between 8 and 11 a.m. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RATIONALE: Stress is a common antecedent reported by people suffering major depression. In these patients, extrahypothalamic brain areas, like the hippocampus and basolateral amygdala (BLA), have been found to be affected. The BLA synthesizes CRF, a mediator of the stress response, and projects to hippocampus. The main hippocampal target for this peptide is the CRF subtype 1 receptor (CRF1). Evidence points to a relationship between dysregulation of CRF/CRF1 extrahypothalamic signaling and depression. OBJECTIVE: Because selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the first-line pharmacological treatment for depression, we investigated the effect of chronic treatment with the SSRI fluoxetine on long-term changes in CRF/CRF1 signaling in animals showing a depressive-like behavior. METHODS: Male Wistar rats were exposed to the learned helplessness paradigm (LH). After evaluation of behavioral impairment, the animals were treated with fluoxetine (10 mg/kg i.p.) or saline for 21 days. We measured BLA CRF expression with RT-PCR and CRF1 expression in CA3 and the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus with in situ hybridization. We also studied the activation of one of CRF1's major intracellular signaling targets, the extracellular signal-related kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) in CA3. RESULTS: In saline-treated LH animals, CRF expression in the BLA increased, while hippocampal CRF1 expression and ERK1/2 activation decreased. Treatment with fluoxetine reversed the changes in CRF and CRF1 expressions, but not in ERK1/2 activation. CONCLUSION: In animals exposed to the learned helplessness paradigm, there are long-term changes in CRF and CRF1 expression that are restored with a behaviorally effective antidepressant treatment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mounting evidence suggests that acute and chronic stress, especially the stress-induced release of glucocorticoids, induces changes in glutamate neurotransmission in the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus, thereby influencing some aspects of cognitive processing. In addition, dysfunction of glutamatergic neurotransmission is increasingly considered to be a core feature of stress-related mental illnesses. Recent studies have shed light on the mechanisms by which stress and glucocorticoids affect glutamate transmission, including effects on glutamate release, glutamate receptors and glutamate clearance and metabolism. This new understanding provides insights into normal brain functioning, as well as the pathophysiology and potential new treatments of stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders.
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