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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (2)
Articles by Romy Wichmann in JoVE
Rodent Stereotaxic Surgery and Animal Welfare Outcome Improvements for Behavioral Neuroscience
Raquel V. Fornari1, Romy Wichmann1, Piray Atsak1, Erika Atucha1, Areg Barsegyan1, Hassiba Beldjoud1, Fany Messanvi1, Catriene M.A. Thuring2, Benno Roozendaal1
1Department of Neuroscience, Section Anatomy, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, 2Animal Welfare Office, University of Groningen
Stereotaxic surgery on rodents allows for targeted administration of drugs or electrical stimulation and recordings in awake, behaving animals. In this video presentation we will demonstrate recent procedural refinements to this long-standing procedure that successfully improved survival rate and reduced post-surgical weight loss.
Other articles by Romy Wichmann on PubMed
Sex Differences in the Effects of Acute and Chronic Stress and Recovery After Long-term Stress on Stress-related Brain Regions of Rats
Cerebral Cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991). Sep, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19073626
Studies show that sex plays a role in stress-related depression, with women experiencing a higher vulnerability to its effect. Two major targets of antidepressants are brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and cyclic adenosine monophosphate response element-binding protein (CREB). The aim of this study was to investigate the levels of CREB, phosphorylation of CREB (pCREB), and BDNF in stress-related brain regions of male and female rats after stress and recovery. CREB and pCREB levels were examined in CA1, CA2, CA3, paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus (PVT), amygdala, anterior cingulate area, dorsal part (ACAd), and infralimbic area of prefrontal cortex (PFC), whereas dentate gyrus (DG) and prelimbic area (PL) of PFC were examined for BDNF levels. Our results demonstrate that levels of CREB and pCREB in male CA1, CA2 and CA3, PVT, amygdala, and ACAd were reduced by stress, whereas the same brain regions of female rats exhibited no change. BDNF levels were decreased by chronic stress in female PL but were increased by acute stress in female DG. BDNF levels in male DG and PL were found not to undergo change in response to stress. Abnormalities in morphology occurred after chronic stress in males but not in females. In all cases, the levels of CREB, pCREB, and BDNF in recovery animals were comparable to the levels of these proteins in control animals. These findings demonstrate a sexual dimorphism in the molecular response to stress and suggest that these differences may have important implications for potential therapeutic treatment of depression.
Physiology & Behavior. May, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19275910
Women in the reproductive age are more vulnerable to develop affective disorders than men. This difference may attribute to anatomical differences, hormonal influences and environmental factors such as stress. However, the higher prevalence in women normalizes once menopause is established, suggesting that ovarian hormones may play an important role in the development of depression in women. Ovarian hormones such as estrogen can pass the brain-blood barrier and bind to cytoplasmatic estrogen receptor (ER)-alpha and ER-beta in different areas of the limbic system. During stress, estrogen can modulate the behavioral and neurobiological response depending on the concentrations of estrogen. In this review we present evidence for disparate effects of chronic stress on neuroplasticity and brain activity in male and female rats. Furthermore, we will demonstrate that effects of social support on coping with stress can be mimicked by social housing of rats and that this model can be used for identification of underlying neurobiological mechanisms, including behavior, phosphorylation of CREB and ERK1/2, and brain activity changes as measured with fos expression. Using cyclic administration of estrogen in ovariectomized female rats we could specifically address effects of different plasma estrogen levels and antidepressants on stress-induced neuroplasticity and activity changes. In this model we also studied effects of estrogen on recovery after chronic stress. We conclude that the female brain has a different innate strategy to handle stress than the male brain and that female animal models are necessary for studying the underlying mechanisms and options for treatment.