Mouse repeated electroconvulsive seizure (ECS) does not reverse social stress effects but does induce behavioral and hippocampal changes relevant to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) side-effects in the treatment of depression

Erin M van Buel, Hannes Sigrist, Erich Seifritz, Lianne Fikse, Fokko J Bosker, Robert A Schoevers, Hans C Klein, Christopher R Pryce, Ulrich Lm Eisel

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

10 Citaten (Scopus)
266 Downloads (Pure)


Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is an effective treatment for depression, but can have negative side effects including amnesia. The mechanisms of action underlying both the antidepressant and side effects of ECT are not well understood. An equivalent manipulation that is conducted in experimental animals is electroconvulsive seizure (ECS). Rodent studies have provided valuable insights into potential mechanisms underlying the antidepressant and side effects of ECT. However, relatively few studies have investigated the effects of ECS in animal models with a depression-relevant manipulation such as chronic stress. In the present study, mice were first exposed to chronic social stress (CSS) or a control procedure for 15 days followed by ECS or a sham procedure for 10 days. Behavioral effects were investigated using an auditory fear conditioning (learning) and expression (memory) test and a treadmill-running fatigue test. Thereafter, immunohistochemistry was conducted on brain material using the microglial marker Iba-1 and the cholinergic fibre marker ChAT. CSS did not increase fear learning and memory in the present experimental design; in both the control and CSS mice ECS reduced fear learning and fear memory expression. CSS induced the expected fatigue-like effect in the treadmill-running test; ECS induced increased fatigue in CSS and control mice. In CSS and control mice ECS induced inflammation in hippocampus in terms of increased expression of Iba-1 in radiatum of CA1 and CA3. CSS and ECS both reduced acetylcholine function in hippocampus as indicated by decreased expression of ChAT in several hippocampal sub-regions. Therefore, CSS increased fatigue and reduced hippocampal ChAT activity and, rather than reversing these effects, a repeated ECS regimen resulted in impaired fear learning-memory, increased fatigue, increased hippocampal Iba-1 expression, and decreased hippocampal ChAT expression. As such, the current model does not provide insights into the mechanism of ECT antidepressant function but does provide evidence for pathophysiological mechanisms that might contribute to important ECT side-effects.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's20
TijdschriftPLoS ONE
Nummer van het tijdschrift9
StatusPublished - 14-sep-2017

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