Jens Randel Nyengaard

Quantitative hippocampal structural changes following ECS treatment in a rat model of depression

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OBJECTIVE: The pathophysiology of depression and the effects of antidepressant treatment are hypothesized to be related to hippocampal structural changes. This study aims to investigate the effect of electroconvulsive seizures on behavior and hippocampal structure in a rat model of depression. METHODS: Flinders Sensitive Line and Flinders Resistant Line rats were treated daily for ten days with either electroconvulsive seizures or sham treatment. The behavior was evaluated using the forced swim test. Design-based stereological methods were used to quantify the hippocampal volume and the numbers of neurons and glial cells in specific hippocampal subregions. RESULTS: The basal level of hippocampal volume and neuron number differed significantly between the two rat strains, and a trend toward the FSL strain having more glial cells was found. The structural differences found between the sham treated animals were counteracted by ECS treatment, which also normalized the behavior. ECS treatment increased the number of glial cells in hilus significantly in the FRL rats, and with the same tendency for the FSL rats. CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that along with hippocampal neurogenesis, also gliogenesis may be involved in the pathophysiology of depression and in the effect of antidepressant treatment. The underlying mechanisms remain unknown and further investigations are required to clarify whether the structural changes are necessary to induce a therapeutic effect of antidepressant treatment or if they rather represent an epiphenomenon. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667
Number of pages676
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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