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Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 1998 Aug 15;59(1):35-9.

Effect of chronic restraint stress and tianeptine on growth factors, growth-associated protein-43 and microtubule-associated protein 2 mRNA expression in the rat hippocampus.

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Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology, Rockefeller University, New York, NY, USA.


Chronic restraint stress of rats for three weeks produces an atrophy of apical dendrites in the CA3 region of the hippocampus. This alteration is blocked by the novel antidepressant, tianeptine. In order to investigate the underlying mechanism of these phenomena, we evaluated the effect of chronic restraint and tianeptine on mRNA expression of neurotrophic factors such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). Chronic restraint and tianeptine treatment did not change the expression of these neurotrophins in the rat hippocampus. We also evaluated the effects of stress and tianeptine on GAP-43 and MAP2, both of which are known to be related to the development of neurons. Chronic restraint resulted in a small decrease in GAP-43 mRNA expression in the CA3 region of the hippocampus, which was not prevented by the concomitant administration of tianeptine. MAP2 mRNA expression was not changed by either chronic stress or tianeptine treatment. We conclude that these neurotrophins, GAP-43 and MAP2 are not likely to be directly related to the chronic stress-induced dendritic atrophy or the prevention of the atrophy by tianeptine.

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