Alterations in BDNF Protein Concentrations in the Hippocampus do not Explain the Pro-Neurogenic Effect of Citalopram on Adult NeurogenesisFunding: This work was supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (KL 2805/1–1) and Rahel Hirsch Fellowship to F.K., the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) translational PhD grant (K24202000001) to M.P., G.K., and M.B. and the Northcott Devon Medical Trust Foundation Grant to V.M. (TB/MG/NO5002).
Introduction Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been implicated in the pro-neurogenic effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. In this study, we used Tph2 −/− mice lacking brain serotonin to dissect the interplay between BDNF and the serotonin system in mediating the effects of antidepressant pharmacotherapy on adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus.
Methods Besides citalopram (CIT), we tested tianeptine (TIA), an antidepressant whose mechanism of action is not well understood. Specifically, we examined cell survival and endogenous concentrations of BDNF following daily injection of the drugs.
Results Twenty-one days of CIT, but not of TIA, led to a significant increase in the survival of newly generated cells in the dentate gyrus of wild-type mice, without a significant effect on BDNF protein levels by either treatment. In Tph2 −/− mice, adult neurogenesis was consistently increased. Furthermore, Tph2 −/− mice showed increased BDNF protein levels, which were not affected by TIA but were significantly reduced by CIT.
Discussion We conclude that the effects of CIT on adult neurogenesis are not explained by changes in BDNF protein concentrations in the hippocampus.
Key wordstryptophan hydroxylase - selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) - depression - serotonin
* These authors contributed equally.
Received: 18 August 2020
Received: 09 October 2020
Accepted: 12 October 2020
16 November 2020 (online)
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