In clinical studies, electroconvulsive stimuli have been associated with improvements in both depression and treatment-resistant depression. In a previous study, treatment with adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) for 14 days decreased adult hippocampal cell proliferation. Furthermore, electroconvulsive stimuli significantly decreased the duration of immobility following repeated administration of ACTH for 14 days in rats. The present study was undertaken to further characterize the mechanism of treatment-resistant antidepressant effects of electroconvulsive stimuli by measuring cell proliferation, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels, and phosphorylated and total cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) response element-binding protein (pCREB/CREB) levels in the hippocampus of ACTH-treated rats. Electroconvulsive stimuli increased cell proliferation in both saline-treated and ACTH-treated rats. Mature-BDNF protein levels showed a tendency to decrease in ACTH-treated rats. Electroconvulsive stimuli treatment increased mature-BDNF protein levels in the hippocampus of both saline-treated and ACTH-treated rats. Furthermore, electroconvulsive stimuli increased phospho-Ser133-CREB (pCREB) levels and the ratio of pCREB/CREB in both saline-treated and ACTH-treated rats. These findings suggest that the treatment-resistant antidepressant effects of electroconvulsive stimuli may be attributed, at least in part, to an enhancement of hippocampal cell proliferation.
- Adrenocorticotropic hormone
- Brain-derived neurotrophic factor
- Cell proliferation
- Electroconvulsive stimuli
- cAMP response element binding protein
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine