Effects of serotonin depletion on the hippocampal GR/MR and BDNF expression during the stress adaptation

Jiansong Zhou, Lingjiang Li, Shaojun Tang, Xia Cao, Zexuan Li, Weihui Li, Changqi Li, Xianghui Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Increased serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) release in the hippocampus induced by repeated stress is thought to be critical for the neuroadaptation that alleviates the adverse effects of stressors on emotion and behavior. A failure in this process may be one of the primary neuropathological mechanisms underlying the development of stress-related disorders. The para-chloroamphetamine (p-PCA) was used to deplete 5-HT in the rat prior to repeated restraint stress (6 h/day for 10 days), and determined the consequences of 5-HT depletion on stress-induced alterations of animal behaviors, hippocampal corticosteroid receptor immunoreactivity and the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA expression. Behavioral tests indicate that the stressed rats with 5-HT depletion showed pronounced anxiety, reduced reward sensitivity and enhanced learned-helplessness. In addition, they also developed learning impairments in Morris water maze tests. These results suggest that hippocampal 5-HT depletion compromised adaptation to chronic stress. Furthermore, repeated stress caused a lesser degree of glucocorticoid receptor increase and down-regulation of BDNF mRNA. The study suggest that 5-HT deficiency in the adult hippocampus may impair stress adaptation by suppressing hippocampal GR and BDNF expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-138
Number of pages10
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 16 2008


  • Adaptation
  • BDNF
  • Glucocorticoid receptor
  • Hippocampus
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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