Effects of Long-Term Stress and Recovery on the Prefrontal Cortex and Dentate Gyrus in Male and Female Rats

Yanhua Lin, Christel Westenbroek, Petra Bakker, Joan Termeer, Aihua Liu, Xuejun Li, Gert J. Ter Horst*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    35 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Women show a higher prevalence for depression than men. However, the biological basis of gender differences in stress response and recovery still remain poorly understood. Therefore, the aim of the study was to assess the gender differences in response to acute stress, chronic stress and recovery in rats. Our results showed that stress decreased male body weight but had no effect on female rats. Open field test demonstrated behavioral changes in grooming and velocity after chronic stress and recovery. Increased activity of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis was reflected by adrenal hypertrophy and increase of plasma corticosterone levels except in the socially housed female rats after stress. Gender and brain region differences in response to stress and recovery were found in the expression of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) and phosphorylated CREB (pCREB). On the whole, expression of CREB and pCREB in male dentate gyrus (DG) and prefrontal cortex (PFC) was sensitive but in female DG and PFC it was resistant to acute and chronic stress. Interestingly, recovery restored the measured parameters to the normal level in male rats but not in female rats. In conclusion, these results suggest that male and female rats responded to stress and recovery in a different way.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2762-2774
    Number of pages13
    JournalCerebral Cortex
    Volume18
    Issue number12
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec-2008

    Keywords

    • SEX-DIFFERENCES
    • NEUROPSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS
    • PROTEIN EXPRESSION
    • PYRAMIDAL NEURONS
    • PROLONGED STRESS
    • RESTRAINT STRESS
    • BINDING PROTEIN
    • GENE-EXPRESSION
    • BRAIN STRUCTURE
    • MESSENGER-RNA

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