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Alterations in mGlu5 receptor expression and function in the striatum in a rat depression model.

Journal of neurochemistry | Jan 18, 2018

Major depressive disorder is a common form of mental illness. Many brain regions are implicated in the pathophysiology and symptomatology of depression. Among key brain areas is the striatum that controls reward and mood and is involved in the development of core depression-like behavior in animal models of depression. While molecular mechanisms in this region underlying depression-related behavior are poorly understood, the glutamatergic input to the striatum is believed to play a role. In this study, we investigated changes in metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptor expression and signaling in the striatum of adult rats in response to prolonged (10-12 weeks) social isolation, a pre-validated animal paradigm modeling depression in adulthood. We found that mGlu5 receptor protein levels in the striatum were increased in rats that showed typical depression- and anxiety-like behavior after chronic social isolation. This increase in mGlu5 receptor expression was seen in both subdivisions of the striatum, the nucleus accumbens and caudate putamen. At subcellular and subsynaptic levels, mGlu5 receptor expression was elevated in surface membranes at synaptic sites. In striatal neurons, the mGlu5-associated phosphoinositide signaling pathway was augmented in its efficacy after prolonged social isolation. These data indicate that the mGlu5 receptor is a sensitive substrate of depression. Adulthood social isolation leads to the up-regulation of mGlu5 receptor expression and function in striatal neurons.

Pubmed ID: 29337350 RIS Download

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