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Pharmacogenomics J. 2005;5(5):278-91.

Gene expression profiling in the hippocampus of learned helpless and nonhelpless rats.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, 98108, USA.


In the learned helplessness (LH) animal model of depression, failure to attempt escape from avoidable environmental stress, LH, indicates behavioral despair, whereas nonhelpless (NH) behavior reflects behavioral resilience to the effects of environmental stress. Comparing hippocampal gene expression with large-scale oligonucleotide microarrays, we found that stress-resilient (NH) rats, although behaviorally indistinguishable from controls, showed a distinct gene expression profile compared to LH, sham stressed, and naïve control animals. Genes that were confirmed as differentially expressed in the NH group by quantitative PCR strongly correlated in their levels of expression across all four animal groups. Differential expression could not be confirmed at the protein level. We identified several shared degenerate sequence motifs in the 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) of differentially expressed genes that could be a factor in this tight correlation of expression levels among differentially expressed genes.

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