Rapid effects of S-ketamine on the morphology of hippocampal astrocytes and BDNF serum levels in a sex-dependent manner

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The prevalence of major depressive disorder (MDD) is higher in women than men. Importantly, a differential behavioral response by sex to the antidepressant response to ketamine in rodents has been reported. Mechanistically, male depressed-like animals showed an increased spine density after ketamine treatment via restoration of synaptic protein levels while those proteins were not altered in female rats. In addition, preclinical studies indicate that the impairment of astrocytic plasticity is one of the contributing mechanisms in the pathophysiology of MDD. Accordingly, in this study, we determined the effect of sex on the rapid morphological alteration of hippocampal astrocytes and the serum level of BDNF one hour after S-ketamine injection. A single intraperitoneal dose of S-ketamine (15 mg/kg) or saline was injected to the male and female Flinders Sensitive Line (FSL) rats, a genetic animal model of depression and their brains were perfused one hour after treatment. The size of the GFAP positive astrocytes in the hippocampal subregions was measured. The volume of different hippocampal subregions was assessed using the Cavalieri estimator. Moreover, serum levels of BDNF were measured with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits. The volume of hippocampal subregions significantly increased one hour after S-ketamine in both male and female FSL animals. However, a substantial alteration in the morphology of the hippocampal astrocytes was observed only in the female rats. Additionally, significantly increased serum BDNF levels in the female depressed rats were observed one hour after S-ketamine treatment. Our results indicate that the rapid effects of S-ketamine on the morphology of the hippocampal astrocytes and the serum level of BDNF are sex-dependent.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean neuropsychopharmacology : the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Volume32
Pages (from-to)94-103
Number of pages10
ISSN0924-977X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • Antidepressant, Astrocyte, BDNF, Hippocampus, Ketamine

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