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Life Sci. 2014 Jun 27;107(1-2):27-31. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2014.04.032. Epub 2014 May 5.

Monosodium glutamate, a food additive, induces depressive-like and anxiogenic-like behaviors in young rats.

Author information

1
Laboratório de Síntese, Reatividade e Avaliação Farmacológica e Toxicológica de Organocalcogênios, Centro de Ciências Naturais e Exatas, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Santa Maria, CEP 97105-900, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
2
Departamento de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade Luterana do Brasil, Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
3
Laboratório de Síntese, Reatividade e Avaliação Farmacológica e Toxicológica de Organocalcogênios, Centro de Ciências Naturais e Exatas, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Santa Maria, CEP 97105-900, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Electronic address: criswn@quimica.ufsm.br.

Abstract

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) has been the target of research due to its toxicological effects.

AIMS:

We investigated the depressive- and anxiogenic-like behaviors in rats exposed to neonatal subcutaneous injection of MSG. The involvement of the serotonergic system, by measuring [(3)H] serotonin (5-HT) uptake in cerebral cortices, and the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis, by determining serum adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone levels, was also examined.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Male and female newborn Wistar rats were divided into control and MSG groups, which received, respectively, a daily subcutaneous injection of saline (0.9%) or MSG (4 g/kg/day) from the 1st to 5th postnatal day. The behavioral tests [spontaneous locomotor activity, contextual fear conditioning, and forced swimming test (FST)] were performed from the 60th to 64th postnatal day. MSG-treated animals showed alteration in the spontaneous locomotor activity, an increase in the number of fecal pellets and the number of animal's vocalizations and urine occurrence, and a decrease in the grooming time.

KEY FINDINGS:

The MSG exposure increased the immobility time in the FST and the freezing reaction in the contextual fear conditioning. Additionally, MSG treatment increased the [(3)H]5-HT uptake in the cerebral cortices of rats and induced a deregulation of HPA axis function (by increasing serum ACTH and corticosterone levels).

SIGNIFICANCE:

In conclusion MSG-treated rats are more susceptible to develop anxiogenic- and depressive-like behaviors, which could be related to a dysfunction in the serotonergic system.

KEYWORDS:

Anxiogenic-like behavior; Depressive-like behavior; HPA axis; Monosodium glutamate; Serotonin

PMID:
24802127
DOI:
10.1016/j.lfs.2014.04.032
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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