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Zh Vyssh Nerv Deiat Im I P Pavlova. 2002 Nov-Dec;52(6):733-42.

[Depression-like changes in behavior and c-fos gene expression in dopaminergic brain structures in WAG/Rij rats].

[Article in Russian]

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Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow.


In WAG/Rij rats with genetic absence epilepsy, inborn changes in behavior were observed such as decreased level of locomotion, exploratory activity, and grooming reactions in the open-field test, increased immobility in the forced-swimming test, and decreased sucrose consumption (anhedonia) as compared to Wistar rats completely lacking in seizure pathology. These behavioral alterations in WAG/Rij rats resemble the symptoms of human depression (psychomotor retardation, depressed mood, and anhedonia). No significant behavioral changes were found in the light-dark choice, social interaction, and elevated plus-maze tests. This suggests the absence of increased anxiety in WAG/Rij rats. In contrast to Wistar, WAG/Rij rats were sensitive only to chronic treatment with antidepressant imipramine like depressive patients. Behavioral "despair" induced by forced swimming led to C-fos gene expression in three brain structures (frontal cortex, nucleus accumbens, and striatum), which are, respectively, terminal regions of three dopaminergic brain systems (mesocortical, mesolimbc, and nigrostriatal). c-fos gene expression in the brain of WAG/Rij rats was substantially different from that in the brain of Wistar rats in both intensity (in WAG/Rij the c-fos gene expression was higher than in Wistar rats in all involved brain structures) and its distribution between the structures. The results suggest that WAG/Rij strain is a new experimental (genetic) model of absence epilepsy-related depression unassociated with increased anxiety.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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