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Hyperhomocysteinemia is a result, rather than a cause, of depression under chronic stress.

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Although the accumulation of homocysteine (Hcy) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of depression, whether Hcy is directly involved and acts as the primary cause of depressive symptoms remains unclear. The present study was designed to clarify whether increased Hcy plays an important role in stress-induced depression. RESULTS: We employed the chronic unpredictable mild stress model (CUMS) of depression for 8 weeks to observe changes in the plasma Hcy level in the development of depression. The results showed that Wistar rats exposed to a series of mild, unpredictable stressors for 4 weeks displayed depression-like symptoms such as anhedonia (decreased sucrose preferences) and a decreased 5-Hydroxy Tryptophan (5-HT) concentration in the hippocampus. At the end of 8 weeks, the plasma Hcy level increased in the CUMS rats. The anti-depressant sertraline could decrease the plasma Hcy level and improve the depression-like symptoms in the CUMS rats. RhBHMT, an Hcy metabolic enzyme, could decrease the plasma Hcy level significantly, although it could not improve the depressive symptoms in the CUMS rats. CONCLUSIONS: The results obtained from the experiments did not support the hypothesis that the increased Hcy concentration mediated the provocation of depression in CUMS rats, and the findings suggested that the increased Hcy concentration in the plasma might be the result of stress-induced depression.

SUBMITTER: Chengfeng S 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4186820 | BioStudies | 2014-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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