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Neuroscience. 2007 Dec 5;150(2):404-12. Epub 2007 Sep 14.

Up-regulation of tryptophan hydroxylase-2 mRNA in the rat brain by chronic fluoxetine treatment correlates with its antidepressant effect.

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1
Functional Neurogenomics Laboratory, Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Russian Academy of Science, Novosibirsk 630090, Russia.

Abstract

Tryptophan hydroxylase-2 (TPH2), the rate-limiting enzyme in 5-HT synthesis in the brain, is a candidate for participation in a mechanism mediating the antidepressant effect of selective 5-HT reuptake inhibitors such as fluoxetine. Using real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and semi-quantitative RT-PCR techniques, we have examined the effects of fluoxetine administration with drinking water (7.5 mg/kg/day) for 2, 4 and 8 weeks on TPH2 mRNA expression in the midbrain part of the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) and in the brainstem containing the rest of the raphe complex. Fluoxetine treatment for 4 and 8 weeks significantly increased basal TPH2 mRNA levels in the midbrain, an effect that was correlated with the appearance of antidepressant-like effects in the forced swim test. A significant induction of TPH2 and 5-HT transporter (5-HTT) mRNAs was detected in the midbrain of untreated rats 24 h after the swim test. In these animals, the swim test also produced a marked decrease in 5-HT metabolite (5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA)) content in the amygdala. Fluoxetine treatment for 4 and 8, but not for 2 weeks, abolished these swim-induced changes in TPH2 and 5-HTT mRNAs levels in the midbrain and 5-HIAA content in the amygdala. The results of the present study suggest that TPH2 gene expression in the midbrain part of the DRN is implicated in depression and stress response, as well as in the antidepressant fluoxetine action.

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