Transient suppression of progenitor cell proliferation through NMDA receptors in hippocampal dentate gyrus of mice with traumatic stress experience

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Abstract

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a long-lasting psychiatric disease after the traumatic experience of severe fatal stress with the consequence of hippocampal atrophy. Freezing behaviors were more than quintupled on the fear-conditioning test in mice previously subjected to water immersion restrain stress (WIRS) with metronome tones when determined 1–28 days after WIRS, while these mice exhibited the increased immobility time on the forced swimming test with the increased spontaneous locomotion. Prior experience of WIRS led to a transient decrease in subsequent 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation into proliferating cells in the hippocampal dentate gyrus. These behavioral and neurochemical alterations were significantly prevented by the daily injection of the tricyclic antidepressant imipramine and the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluvoxamine, respectively. Moreover, WIRS significantly decreased the number of cells holding BrdU without affecting the differentiation ratio to astroglial and neuronal lineages 28 days later. Prior administration of an NMDA receptor antagonist significantly prevented the aforementioned changes by WIRS. These results suggest that NMDA receptors may play a role in mechanisms underlying the crisis of a variety of psychiatric symptoms relevant to post-traumatic stress disorder through transient suppression of neural progenitor cell proliferation in the murine hippocampal dentate gyrus.

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