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J Affect Disord. 2017 Feb;209:209-216. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2016.11.046. Epub 2016 Nov 30.

A high fat diet-induced decrease in hippocampal newly-born neurons of male mice is exacerbated by mild psychological stress using a Communication Box.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacotherapeutics, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Fukuoka University, 8-19-1, Nanakuma, Jonan-ku, Fukuoka 814-0180, Japan. Electronic address: ymurata@fukuoka-u.ac.jp.
2
Department of Pharmacotherapeutics, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Fukuoka University, 8-19-1, Nanakuma, Jonan-ku, Fukuoka 814-0180, Japan.
3
Faculty of Neurology and Psychiatry, Mito Hospital, 4-1-1, Shime-Higashi, Shime-Machi, Kasuya-Gun, Fukuoka 811-2243, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Obese persons have a higher incidence of depression than healthy-weight persons. Several studies indicated that the exposure to a high fat diet (HFD) results in a decrease in hippocampal neurogenesis, which leads to higher stress response and stress-induced depression. Although stress is a risk factor for obesity and depression, no studies to date have investigated the effect of stress on the hippocampal neurogenesis of HFD-induced obese animals. The aim of this study was to elucidate whether or not obese HFD-fed mice are vulnerable to stress-induced depression by investigating hippocampal neurogenesis.

METHODS:

Sixty-four male ICR mice (four weeks of age) were fed a control (N=24) or 45%HFD (N=40) for seven weeks. Of the HFD-fed group, twenty-four mice met the criteria for "diet-induced obesity". The animals were then exposed to three consecutive days of psychological stress using a Communication Box. Half were sacrificed to evaluate the physiological changes, and the other half were perfused to quantify hippocampal neuroblasts/immature neurons by the estimation of doublecortin-immunopositive cells.

RESULTS:

In the HFD-fed mice, psychological stress resulted in increases in caloric intake and visceral adipose tissue and a significant decrease in doublecortin-positive cells in the dentate gyrus; however, no such differences were found in the control diet-fed group. Limitations Further study using other neurogenic markers to assess the stage-specific changes in hippocampal neurogenesis will be required CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that an HFD-induced decrease in hippocampal newly-born neurons leads to stress vulnerability, which may contribute to a high risk of stress-induced depression for obese persons.

KEYWORDS:

Communication Box; Depression; High fat diet; Hippocampal neurogenesis; Obesity; Psychological stress; Stress vulnerability

PMID:
27930914
DOI:
10.1016/j.jad.2016.11.046
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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