Fluoxetine reverses depressive-like behaviors and increases hippocampal acetylcholinesterase activity induced by olfactory bulbectomy

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The olfactory bulbectomy (OB) is an animal model of depression that results in behavioral, neurochemical and neuroendocrinological changes, features comparable to those seen in depressive patients. This study investigated OB-induced alterations in locomotor activity and exploratory behavior in the open-field test, self-care and motivational behavior in the splash test, hyperactivity in the novel object test and novel cage test, and the influence of chronic treatment with fluoxetine (10 mg/kg, p.o., once daily for 14 days) on these parameters. Fluoxetine reversed OB-induced hyperactivity in the open-field test, locomotor hyperactivity and the increase in exploratory behavior induced by novelty in the novel object and novel cage tests, and the loss of self-care and motivational behavior in the splash test. Moreover, OB decreased the number of grooming and fecal boli in the open-field and novel cage tests, alterations that were not reversed by fluoxetine. OB caused an increase in hippocampal, but not in prefrontal acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity. Fluoxetine was able to reverse the increase in hippocampal AChE activity induced by OB. Serum corticosterone was increased in SHAM and bulbectomized mice treated with fluoxetine. In conclusion, OB mice exhibited depressive-like behaviors associated with an increase in hippocampal AChE activity, effects that were reversed by chronic treatment with fluoxetine.


▸ OB causes behavioral and neurochemical changes that mimic depressive symptoms. ▸ OB produced hyperactivity and loss of self-care and motivational behavior. ▸ Fluoxetine reversed the depression-related behaviors induced by OB. ▸ Fluoxetine increased corticosterone in control and bulbectomized mice. ▸ Fluoxetine reversed the OB-induced increase on hippocampal AChE activity.

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