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Changes in synaptic plasticity are associated with electroconvulsive shock-induced learning and memory impairment in rats with depression-like behavior

Authors Chen Q, Ren L, Min S, Hao X, Chen H, Deng J

Received 25 January 2018

Accepted for publication 28 March 2018

Published 2 July 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 1737—1746


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang

Qibin Chen,1 Li Ren,1 Su Min,1 Xuechao Hao,2 Hengsheng Chen,3 Jie Deng1

1Department of Anesthesiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, 2Department of Anesthesiology, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, 3Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Child Development and Disorders, China International Science and Technology Cooperation Base of Child Development and Critical Disorders, Chongqing Key Laboratory of Pediatrics, Chongqing, People’s Republic of China

Background: Accompanied with the effective antidepressant effect, electroconvulsive shock (ECS) can induce cognitive impairment, but the mechanism is unclear. Synaptic plasticity is the fundamental mechanism of learning and memory. This study aimed to investigate the effect of ECS on synaptic plasticity changes in rats with depression-like behavior.
Methods: Chronic unpredictable mild stress procedure was conducted to establish a model of depression-like behavior. Rats were randomly divided into the following three groups: control group with healthy rats (group C), rats with depression-like behavior (group D), and rats with depression-like behavior undergoing ECS (group DE). Depression-like behavior and spatial learning and memory function were assessed by sucrose preference test and Morris water test, respectively. Synaptic plasticity changes in long-term potentiation (LTP), long-term depression (LTD), depotentiation, and post-tetanic potentiation (PTP) were tested by electrophysiological experiment.
Results: ECS could exert antidepressant effect and also induced spatial learning and memory impairment in rats with depression-like behavior. And, data on electrophysiological experiment showed that ECS induced lower magnitude of LTP, higher magnitude of LTD, higher magnitude of depotentiation, and lower magnitude of PTP.
Conclusion: ECS-induced learning and memory impairment may be attributed to postsynaptic mechanism of LTP impairment, LTD and depotentiation enhancement, and presynaptic mechanism of PTP impairment.

Keywords: electroconvulsive therapy, learning, memory, synaptic plasticity, electrophysiology

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