4.5 Article

The mechanism of acute fasting-induced antidepressant-like effects in mice

Journal

JOURNAL OF CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR MEDICINE
Volume 22, Issue 1, Pages 223-229

Publisher

WILEY
DOI: 10.1111/jcmm.13310

Keywords

BDNF; c-Fos; fasting; 5-HT; Depression

Funding

  1. Natural Science Foundation of China [31571126, 31171123, 31540076, 31300850, 81328011, 31471120]
  2. Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University [NCET-13-0715]

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Acute fasting induced antidepressant-like effects. However, the exact brain region and mechanism of these actions are still largely unknown. Therefore, in this study the antidepressant-like effects of acute fasting on c-Fos expression and BDNF levels were investigated. Consistent with our previous findings, immobility time was remarkably shortened by 9hrs fasting in the forced swimming test. Furthermore, these antidepressant-like effects of 9 fasting were inhibited by a 5-HT2A/2C receptor agonist (+/-)-1-(2, 5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl)-2-aminopropane hydrochloride (DOI), and the effect of DOI was blocked by pretreatment with a selective 5-HT2A receptor antagonist ketanserin. Immunohistochemical study has shown that c-Fos level was significantly increased by 9hrs fasting in prefrontal cortex but not hippocampus and habenular. Fasting-induced c-Fos expression was further enhanced by DOI in prefrontal cortex, and these enhancements were inhibited by ketanserin. The increased BDNF levels by fasting were markedly inhibited by DOI in frontal cortex and hippocampus, and these effects of DOI on BDNF levels were also blocked by ketanserin. These findings suggest that the antidepressant-like effects of acute fasting may be exerted via 5-HT2A receptor and particularly sensitive to neural activity in the prefrontal cortex. Furthermore, these antidepressant-like effects are also mediated by CREB and BDNF pathway in hippocampus and frontal cortex. Therefore, fasting may be potentially helpful against depression.

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