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Brain Res. 2013 Nov 20;1539:73-86. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2013.09.033. Epub 2013 Oct 3.

Depression, anxiety-like behavior and memory impairment are associated with increased oxidative stress and inflammation in a rat model of social stress.

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Department of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA.


In the present study, we have examined the behavioral and biochemical effect of induction of psychological stress using a modified version of the resident-intruder model for social stress (social defeat). At the end of the social defeat protocol, body weights, food and water intake were recorded, depression and anxiety-like behaviors as well as memory function was examined. Biochemical analysis including oxidative stress measurement, inflammatory markers and other molecular parameters, critical to behavioral effects were examined. We observed a significant decrease in the body weight in the socially defeated rats as compared to the controls. Furthermore, social defeat increased anxiety-like behavior and caused memory impairment in rats (P<0.05). Socially defeated rats made significantly more errors in long term memory tests (P<0.05) as compared to control rats. Furthermore, brain extracellular signal-regulated kinase-1/2 (ERK1/2), and an inflammatory marker, interleukin (IL)-6 were activated (P<0.05), while the protein levels of glyoxalase (GLO)-1, glutathione reductase (GSR)-1, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase type (CAMK)-IV, cAMP-response-element-binding protein (CREB) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) were significantly less (P<0.05) in the hippocampus, but not in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala of socially defeated rats, when compared to control rats. We suggest that social defeat stress alters ERK1/2, IL-6, GLO1, GSR1, CAMKIV, CREB, and BDNF levels in specific brain areas, leading to oxidative stress-induced anxiety-depression-like behaviors and as well as memory impairment in rats.


Anxiety; BDNF; CAMKIV; ECL; ERK1/2; GLO-1; GSR; LE; Learning and memory and social defeat; Long-Evans; Oxidative stress: depression; P-CREB; PVDF; RAWM; SD; SDS-PAGE; SOD; SS; Sprague Dawley; T-CREB; brain derived neurotrophic factor; calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase type IV; enhanced chemiluminescence; extracellular signal-regulated kinase-1/2; glutathione reductase-1; glyoxalase-1; phospho-cAMP response element–binding protein; polyvinyledene difluoride; radial arm water maze; social stressed; sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis; superoxide dismutase; total-cAMP response element–binding protein

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