Objective: Stress and glucocorticoid hormones, which are released into the circulation following stressful experiences, have been shown to contribute significantly to the manifestation of anxiety-like behaviors observed in many neuropsychiatric disorders. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling through its receptor TrkB plays an important role in stress-mediated changes in structural as well as functional neuroplasticity. Studies designed to elucidate the mechanisms whereby TrkB signaling is regulated in chronic stress might provide valuable information for the development of new therapeutic strategies for several stress-related psychiatric disorders. Materials and Methods: We examined the potential of cysteamine, a neuroprotective compound to attenuate anxiety and depression like behaviors in a mouse model of anxiety/depression induced by chronic corticosterone exposure. Results: Cysteamine administration (150 mg/kg/day, through drinking water) for 21 days significantly ameliorated chronic corticosterone-induced decreases in TrkB protein levels in frontal cortex and hippocampus. Furthermore, cysteamine treatment reversed the anxiety and depression like behavioral abnormalities induced by chronic corticosterone treatment. Finally, mice deficient in TrkB, showed a reduced response to cysteamine in behavioral tests, suggesting that TrkB signaling plays an important role in the antidepressant effects of cysteamine. Conclusions: The animal studies described here highlight the potential use of cysteamine as a novel therapeutic strategy for glucocorticoid-related symptoms of psychiatric disorders.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)