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  • The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, Volume 12, Issue 7
  • August 2009, pp. 905-915

Synergistic neurochemical and behavioural effects of acute intrahippocampal injection of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and antidepressants in adult mice

  • Thierry Deltheil (a1), Kenji Tanaka (a2), Christelle Reperant (a1), René Hen (a2), Denis J. David (a1) (a2) and Alain M. Gardier (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 23 February 2009

Preclinical data support the view that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and serotonergic systems regulate circuits involved in affective disorders. The present study examined neurochemical and behavioural consequences of an acute intrahippocampal injection of BDNF combined with an antidepressant by using in-vivo intracerebral microdialysis in the ventral hippocampus (vHi) in conscious mice and behavioural paradigms predictive of antidepressant and anxiolytic-like effects [the mouse forced swim test (FST), the open-field (OF) paradigm and the elevated plus maze (EPM)]. Neurochemical data revealed that BDNF (100 ng) potentiated the effects of the systemic administration of a serotonin selective reuptake inhibitor (SSRI; paroxetine 4 mg/kg i.p.) and that of a locally applied citalopram perfusion on dialysate 5-HT levels in the vHi. These neurochemical changes correlated with behavioural data since, in the FST, antidepressant-like activity of paroxetine as measured on swimming behaviour was potentiated by BDNF. These data suggest an interesting synergy between BDNF and SSRI on antidepressant-like activity. Furthermore, in both the OF and EPM paradigms BDNF induced an anxiogenic-like activity, whereas paroxetine prevented this effect. Finally, the neurochemical and behavioural effects of BDNF on the serotonergic system might occur at both pre- and post-synaptic levels since by using in-situ hybridization, we showed that TrkB-R mRNA was expressed in the hippocampus and the dorsal raphe nucleus in adult mice. Taken together the neurochemical and behavioural effects of BDNF suggest that these behavioural changes were mediated by increases in 5-HT neurotransmission in vHi. Thus a BDNF+SSRI combination may offer new alternatives to treat mood disorders.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Professor A. M. Gardier, Laboratoire de Neuropharmacologie, EA 3544, MESR, Université Paris-Sud, Faculté de Pharmacie, 5 rue J. B Clément, 92296, Châtenay-Malabry Cedex, France. Tel.: 33 1 46 83 54 16Fax: 33 1 46 83 53 55Email:
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B Chen , D Dowlatshahi , GM MacQueen , JF Wang , LT Young (2001). Increased hippocampal BDNF immunoreactivity in subjects treated with antidepressant medication. Biological Psychiatry 50, 260265.

ED Leonardo , R Hen (2006). Genetics of affective and anxiety disorders. Annual Review of Psychology 57, 117137.

U Wyneken , M Sandoval , S Sandoval , F Jorquera , I González , F Vargas , R Falcon , M Monari , F Orrego (2006). Clinically relevant doses of fluoxetine and reboxetine induce changes in the TrkB content of central excitatory synapses. Neuropsychopharmacology 31, 2415–23.

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The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
  • ISSN: 1461-1457
  • EISSN: 1469-5111
  • URL: /core/journals/the-international-journal-of-neuropsychopharmacology
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