Neuroprotective Effects of Fluoxetine Against Chronic Stress-Induced Neural Inflammation and Apoptosis: Involvement of the p38 Activity.
ABSTRACT: Depression is considered a widespread neuropsychiatric disease associated with neuronal injury within specific brain regions. Fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, has been widely used in depressed patients. Recently, fluoxetine has demonstrated neuroprotective effects apart from the effect on serotonin. However, the underlying mechanism involved in this neuroprotection remains unclear, in particular, whether fluoxetine exerts antidepressant effects via protecting against neuronal injury. Here, we found that treatment with fluoxetine (10 mg/kg, i.p.) for 2 weeks ameliorated depression-like behaviors in a chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS)-induced rat model of depression and was accompanied with an alleviation of glia activation and inhibition of interleukin-1? (IL-1?), interferon gamma (IFN-?), and tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF-?) expression in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) region. Meanwhile, CUMS rats treated with fluoxetine showed reductions in neuronal apoptosis and a downregulation of the apoptotic protein Bax, cleaved caspase 3, and caspase 9 levels. These effects appear to involve a downregulation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling within the DG hippocampus as the specific inhibitor of p38 MAPK, SB203580, significantly suppressed apoptosis, as well as ameliorated depressive behaviors resulting from CUMS exposure. Moreover, fluoxetine could rescue neuronal deterioration and depression-like phenotypes caused by overexpression of p38 in DG. This finding extends our knowledge on the antidepressant-like effects of fluoxetine, which appear to at least partially profit from neuroprotection against inflammation and neuronal apoptosis via downregulation of the p38 MAPK pathway. The neuroprotective mechanisms of fluoxetine may provide some novel therapeutic avenues for stress-related neurological diseases.
Project description:Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the most common cause of death and acquired disability among children and young adults in the developed countries. In clinical studies, the incidence of depression is high after TBI, and the mechanisms behind TBI-induced depression remain unclear. In the present study, we subjected rats to a moderate fluid percussion into the closed cranial cavity to induce TBI. After 3 days of recovery, injured rats were given a forced swim test (FST) and novelty-suppressed feeding tests. We found that TBI rats exhibited increased duration of immobility and longer latency to begin chewing food in a new environment compared with sham-operated rats. Western blot analysis showed that TBI led to a decrease in the phosphorylated levels of extracellular signal regulated kinases (ERK1/2) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK). Fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), significantly reduced the duration of immobility when administered once per day for 14 days. Consistent with behavioral tests, fluoxetine treatment reversed TBI-induced decrease in p-ERK1/2 and p-p38 MAPK levels. Pre-treatment with a selective tryptophan hydroxylase inhibitor para-chlorophenylalanine (PCPA) blocked the antidepressant effect of fluoxetine. PCPA also prevented the effect of fluoxetine on ERK1/2 phosphorylation without affecting p38 MAPK phosphorylation. Pre-treatment with ERK inhibitor SL327 but not p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580 prevented the antidepressant effect of fluoxetine. These results suggest that ERK1/2 plays a critical role in TBI-induced depression.
Project description:Depression is considered a neuropsychiatric disease associated with various neuronal changes within specific brain regions. We previously reported that ginsenoside-Rg1, a potential neuroprotective agent extracted from ginseng, significantly alleviated depressive-like disorders induced by chronic stress in rats. However, the mechanisms by which ginsenoside-Rg1 exerts its neuroprotective effects in depression remain largely uncharacterized. In the present study we confirm that ginsenoside-Rg1 significantly prevented the antidepressant-like effects in a rat model of chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) and report on some of the underlying mechanisms associated with this effect. Specifically, we found that chronic pretreatment with ginsenoside-Rg1 prior to stress exposure significantly suppressed inflammatory pathway activity via alleviating the overexpression of proinflammatory cytokines and the activation of microglia and astrocytes. These effects were accompanied with an attenuation of dendritic spine and synaptic deficits as associated with an upregulation of synaptic-related proteins in the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). In addition, ginsenoside-Rg1 inhibited neuronal apoptosis induced by CUMS exposure, increased Bcl-2 expression and decreased cleaved Caspase-3 and Caspase-9 expression within the vmPFC region. Furthermore, ginsenoside-Rg1 could increase the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf2) expression and inhibit p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p-p38 MAPK) and nuclear factor ?B (NF-?B) p65 subunit activation within the vmPFC. Taken together, these results suggest that the neuroprotective effects of ginsenoside-Rg1, which may assume the antidepressant-like effect in this animal model of depression, appears to result from amelioration of a CUMS-dependent neuronal deterioration within the vmPFC. Moreover, they also provide support for the therapeutic potential of ginsenoside-Rg1 in the treatment of stress-related mental disorders.
Project description:(5S,10R)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo(A,D)cyclohepten-5,10-imine hydrogen maleate (MK-801) is an N-methyl-D-aspartate non-competitive antagonist that possesses useful biological properties, including anticonvulsant and anesthetic activities. Studies have indicated the rapid antidepressant effects of MK-801 in animal models. However, there are no reports concerning a sustained antidepressant effect in the chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) model. Furthermore, the antidepressant mechanism remains unclear. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of MK-801 (0.1 mg/kg) and rapastinel (10 mg/kg) on depression-like behavior in CUMS mice and measure the protein expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (GluA1) and phosphorylated mammalian target of rapamycin (p-mTOR). In the tail suspension and forced swim tests, MK-801 significantly attenuated the increased immobility time in CUMS mice compared with the vehicle group. In the sucrose preference test, a single-dose injection of MK-801 significantly ameliorated the decreased sucrose preference in CUMS mice compared with the vehicle group. Western blot analyses indicated that MK-801 significantly attenuated the decreased BDNF, GluA1 and p-mTOR protein levels in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), dentate gyrus (DG) and CA3 of the hippocampi of CUMS mice. Conversely, this compound had no effect on increased BDNF, GluA1 and p-mTOR protein levels in the nucleus accumbens of CUMS mice. Therefore, the present study revealed the sustained antidepressant effects of MK-801 in the CUMS model. Furthermore, synaptogenesis and neuronal regeneration in the prelimbic regions of mPFC, DG and CA3 of the hippocampus may be implicated as mechanisms that promote a sustained antidepressant response.
Project description:The PP2C family member Wild-type p53-induced phosphatase 1 (Wip1) critically regulates DNA damage response (DDR) under stressful situations. In the present study, we investigated whether Wip1 expression was involved in the regulation of DDR-induced and depression-related cellular senescence in mouse hippocampus. We found that Wip1 gene knockout (KO) mice showed aberrant elevation of hippocampal cellular senescence and of ?-H2AX activity, which is known as a biomarker of DDR and cellular senescence, indicating that the lack of Wip1-mediated ?-H2AX dephosphorylation facilitates cellular senescence in hippocampus. Administration of the antidepressant fluoxetine had no significant effects on the increased depression-like behaviors, enriched cellular senescence, and aberrantly upregulated hippocampal ?-H2AX activity in Wip1 KO mice. After wildtype C57BL/6 mice were exposed to the procedure of chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS), cellular senescence and ?-H2AX activity in hippocampus were also elevated, accompanied by the suppression of Wip1 expression in hippocampus when compared to the control group without CUMS experience. These CUMS-induced symptoms were effectively prevented following fluoxetine administration in wildtype C57BL/6 mice, with the normalization of depression-like behaviors. Our data demonstrate that Wip1-mediated ?-H2AX dephosphorylation may play an important role in the occurrence of depression-related cellular senescence.
Project description:Depression is an inflammatory-related condition, with the progression in neuronal damage resulting in major depression disorder. Ginsenoside-Rg1, a sterol extract from the herb Panax ginseng, has been shown to exert neuroprotective effects upon neurodegeneration disorders. However, whether ginsenoside-Rg1 confers antidepressant-like effects on neuroinflammation as associated with depression, as well as the possible mechanism involved in these neuroprotective effects, is currently unclear. In the present report, we show that treatment with ginsenoside-Rg1 (40?mg/kg, i.p.) significantly ameliorated depressive-like behaviors as induced by chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) in a rat model of depression. Moreover, these CUMS rats treated with ginsenoside-Rg1 showed reductions in the levels of the oxidative stress products and the activity in the antioxidant stress kinase. Furthermore, CUMS rats treated with ginsenoside-Rg1 showed ameliorated neuroinflammation and associated neuronal apoptosis along with a reduction in dendritic spine atrophy and display of depressive behaviors. Taken together, the results of this study suggest that ginsenoside-Rg1 produces antidepressant-like effects in CUMS-exposed rats; and one of the mechanisms for these antidepressant-like effects of ginsenoside-Rg1 appears to involve protection against oxidative stress and thus the neuronal deterioration resulting from inflammatory responses. These findings provide evidence for the therapeutic potential of ginsenoside-Rg1 in the treatment of stress-related depression.
Project description:Gene microarrays may enable the elucidation of neurobiological changes underlying the pathophysiology and treatment of major depression. However, previous studies of antidepressant treatments were performed in healthy normal rather than 'depressed' animals. Since antidepressants are devoid of mood-changing effects in normal individuals, the clinically relevant rodent transcriptional changes could remain undetected. We investigated antidepressant-related transcriptome changes in a corticolimbic network of mood regulation in the context of the unpredictable chronic mild stress (UCMS), a naturalistic model of depression based on socio-environmental stressors. Mice subjected to a 7-week UCMS displayed a progressive coat state deterioration, reduced weight gain, and increased agonistic and emotion-related behaviors. Chronic administration of an effective (fluoxetine) or putative antidepressant (corticotropin-releasing factor-1 (CRF1) antagonist, SSR125543) reversed all physical and behavioral effects. Changes in gene expression differed among cingulate cortex (CC), amygdala (AMY) and dentate gyrus (DG) and were extensively reversed by both drugs in CC and AMY, and to a lesser extent in DG. Fluoxetine and SSR125543 also induced additional and very similar molecular profiles in UCMS-treated mice, but the effects of the same drug differed considerably between control and UCMS states. These studies established on a large-scale that the molecular impacts of antidepressants are region-specific and state-dependent, revealed common transcriptional changes downstream from different antidepressant treatments and supported CRF1 targeting as an effective therapeutic strategy. Correlations between UCMS, drug treatments, and gene expression suggest distinct AMY neuronal and oligodendrocyte molecular phenotypes as candidate systems for mood regulation and therapeutic interventions.
Project description:<b>Background</b>: Accumulating evidence has shown that neuropsychiatric disorders are associated with gut microbiota through the gut-brain axis. However, the effects of antidepressant treatment on gut microbiota are rarely studied. Here, we investigated whether stress led to gut microbiota changes and whether fluoxetine plays a role in microbiota alteration. <b>Methods</b>: We investigated changes in gut microbiota in a depression model induced by chronic unpredicted mild stress (CUMS) and a restoration model by applying the classic antidepressant drug fluoxetine. <b>Results</b>: We found that stress led to low bacterial diversity, simpler bacterial network, and increased abundance of pathogens, such as <i>Escherichia/Shigella</i>, and conditional pathogens, such as <i>Enterococcus</i>, <i>Vagococcus</i>, and <i>Aerococcus.</i> However, these changes were attenuated by fluoxetine directly and indirectly. Furthermore, the correlation analysis indicated strong correlations between gut microbiota and anxiety- and depression-like behaviors. <b>Conclusions</b>: This study revealed that fluoxetine led to restoration of dysbiosis induced by stress stimulation, which may imply a possible pathway through which one CNS target drug plays its role in reshaping the gut microbiota.
Project description:Depression is a chronic debilitating disorder predicted to affect around 20% of the world population. Both brain and peripheral changes, including neuroplastic changes have been shown to occur in the brains of depressed individuals and animal models of depression. Over the past few decades, growing evidence has supported the role of miRNAs as regulators of critical aspects of brain plasticity and function, namely in the context of depression. These molecules are not only highly expressed in the brain, but are also relatively stable in bodily fluids, including blood. Previous microarray analysis from our group has disclosed molecular players in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG), in the context of depression and antidepressant treatment. Two miRNAs in particular-miR-409-5p and miR-411-5p-were significantly up-regulated in the DG of an unpredictable chronic mild stress (CMS) rat model of depression and reversed by antidepressant treatment. Here, we further analyzed the levels of these miRNAs along the DG longitudinal axis and in other brain regions involved in the pathophysiology of depression, as well as in peripheral blood of CMS-exposed rats and after fluoxetine treatment. The effects of CMS and fluoxetine treatment on miR-409-5p and miR-411-5p levels varied across brain regions, and miR-411-5p was significantly decreased in the blood of fluoxetine-treated rats. Additional bioinformatic analyses revealed target genes and pathways of these miRNAs related to neurotransmitter signaling and neuroplasticity functions; an implication of the two miRNAs in the regulation of the cellular and molecular changes observed in these brain regions in depression is worth further examination.
Project description:As the traditional Chinese herbal formula, Xiaoyaosan and its modified formula have been described in many previous studies with definite anti-depressive effects, but its underlying mechanism remains mystery. Previous work in our lab has demonstrated that depression induced by chronic stress could generate brain blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signals disorder, accompanied by the impairment of hippocampal neuronal plasticity, decrease of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and reduction of the number and complexity of adult neurons in the dentate gyrus. We hypothesized that herbal formula based on Xiaoyaosan could exert anti-depressive effects through restoring these neurobiological dysfunctions and rectifying BOLD-fMRI signals. To test this hypothesis, we examined the effect of modified Xiaoyaosan (MXYS) on depressive-like behaviors, as well as hippocampal neurogenesis and BOLD signals in a mice model of chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS)-induced depression. MXYS exerted anti-depressant effects on CUMS-induced depression that were similar to the effects of classical antidepressants drug (fluoxetine hydrochloride), with a significant alleviation of depressive-like behaviors, an improvement of hippocampal neurogenesis, and a reversal of activation of BOLD in the limbic system, particularly in the hippocampus. These results suggested that MXYS attenuated CUMS-induced depressive behaviors by rectifying the BOLD signals in the mice hippocampus. These novel results demonstrated that MXYS had anti-depressive effects accompanied by improving BOLD signals and hippocampal neurogenesis, which suggested that BOLD-fMRI signals in brain regions could be a key component for the evaluation of novel antidepressant drugs.
Project description:Antidepressant medications are known to modulate the central nervous system, and gut microbiota can play a role in depression via microbiota-gut-brain axis. But the impact of antidepressants on gut microbiota function and composition remains poorly understood. Thus this study assessed the effect of serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant fluoxetine (Flu) and tricyclic antidepressant amitriptyline (Ami) administration on gut microbiota composition, diversity, and species abundance, along with microbial function in a chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS)-induced depression rat model. Oral administration of Ami and Flu significantly altered the overall gut microbiota profile of CUMS-induced rats, as assessed using the permutational multivariate analysis of variance test. At the phylum level, 6-week of antidepressant treatment led to a decreased Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio due to an enhanced Bacteroidetes and reduced Firmicutes relative abundance. Flu was more potent than Ami at altering the Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes levels in the CUMS rats. At the family level, both antidepressants significantly increased the abundance of Porphyromonadaceae. However, an increased Bacteroidaceae level was significantly associated with Ami, not Flu treatment. Furthermore, at the genus level, an increase in the relative abundance of Parabacteroides, Butyricimonas, and Alistipes was observed following Ami and Flu treatment. Subsequent metagenomics and bioinformatics analysis further indicated that Ami and Flu likely also modulated metabolic pathways, such as those involved in carbohydrate metabolism, membrane transport, and signal transduction. Additionally, both antidepressants affected antibiotic resistome, such as for aminoglycoside (aph3iiiA), multidrug (mdtK, mdtP, mdtH, mdtG, acrA), and tetracycline (tetM) resistance in CUMS rats. These data clearly illustrated the direct impact of oral administration of Flu and Ami on the gut microbiome, thus set up the foundation to reveal more insights on the therapeutic function of the antidepressants and their overall contribution to host health.