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Electroconvulsive stimuli alter nerve growth factor but not brain-derived neurotrophic factor concentrations in brains of a rat model of depression

Posted by on in 2003
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 Neuropeptides, Volume 37, Issue 1 , February 2003, Pages 51-56
Francesco Angelucci (a)(b), Luigi Aloe (b), Patricia Jiménez-Vasquez (a) and Aleksander A. Mathé (a)
(a) Karolinska Institute, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Division of Pharmacology, Stockholm, Sweden
(b) Institute of Neurobiology, CNR, Viale C. Marx, 15/43, 00137, Rome, Italy
Received 28 September 2002; accepted 11 December 2002; Available online 27 February 2003.


Nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are proteins involved in neuronal survival and plasticity of dopaminergic, cholinergic and serotonergic neurons in the central nervous system (CNS). Moreover, it has been hypothesized that these molecules play a role in the pathophysiology as well as treatment of depression. Using an animal model of depression, the Flinders Sensitive Line (FSL) rats and their controls, the Flinders Resistant Line (FRL), we investigated the effects of electroconvulsive stimuli (ECS) on brain NGF and BDNF. ECS or SHAM ECS were administered eight times, with a 48-h interval between each treatment. NGF and BDNF were measured with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In the hippocampus ECS increased NGF concentration in FSL but not FRL rats. ECS decreased NGF concentration in the frontal cortex of FSL rats. In both FSL and FRL rats ECS increased NGF levels in the striatum. In contrast, ECS did not change BDNF concentration in hippocampus, frontal cortex and striatum of FSL and FRL rats. Our data support the notion that neurotrophin concentrations may be altered by ECS.

Author Keywords: Nerve growth factor; Brain derived neurotrophic factor; Rot brain; Models of depression; Electroconvulsive stimuli

Corresponding author. Tel.: +46-8-728-79-72; fax: +46-8-33-16-53.

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