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INTRODUCTION The neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF) are a central part of the molecular concepts on neuroplastic changes associated with stress, anxiety and depression. An increasing number of studies uses serum BDNF levels as a potential indicator for central nervous system alterations. METHODS To analyze(More)
The learned helplessness paradigm is a depression model in which animals are exposed to unpredictable and uncontrollable stress, e.g. electroshocks, and subsequently develop coping deficits for aversive but escapable situations (J.B. Overmier, M.E. Seligman, Effects of inescapable shock upon subsequent escape and avoidance responding, J. Comp. Physiol.(More)
In earlier experiments we have demonstrated that group-housing in a rather impoverished "standard" environment can be a crucial stress factor in male C57Bl/6 mice. The present study aimed at investigating the effect of combining a probable genetic vulnerability--postulated by the "Neurotrophin Hypothesis of Depression"--with the potentially modulating(More)
NMDA receptor (NMDAR) antagonists like ketamine and MK-801 possess remarkable antidepressant effects with fast onset. However, they over-stimulate the retrosplenial cortex, evoking psychosis-like effects and neuronal injury, revealed by de novo induction of the heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70). Moreover, early in the development MK-801 triggers widespread(More)
Tamoxifen-induced mutagenesis via the so-called CreER(T2) fusion enzyme is a key technology for the inducible gene knockout in the adult murine brain. However, it requires a subchronic transient treatment with high doses of the non-selective estrogen receptor antagonist tamoxifen. It has been shown earlier that acute tamoxifen treatment causes behavioral(More)
The "Dopamine Deficiency Hypothesis" and a considerable number of recent pharmacological studies propose to thoroughly verify and improve the standard of knowledge regarding a possible role of dopamine in the pathogenesis and treatment of depression. To elucidate the potential role of D3 receptors in the development of a depressive-like phenotype, we(More)
Several prospective studies indicated perinatal hypoxia as risk factor for psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia. It is thought that hypoxia prior to or during birth may contribute to alterations leading to the protracted clinical manifestation during young adulthood. However, only a small fraction of children with a history of perinatal hypoxia develop(More)
Growing evidence indicates that physical exercise increases hippocampal volume. This has consistently been shown in mice and men using magnetic resonance imaging. On the other hand, histological studies have reported profound alterations on a cellular level including increased adult hippocampal neurogenesis after exercise. A combined investigation of both(More)
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is an effective therapy for several psychiatric disorders, including severe major depression, mania and certain forms of schizophrenia. It had been proposed that ECT acts by modulating local plasticity via the stimulation of neurogenesis. In fact, among antidepressant therapies, ECT is the most robust enhancer of neurogenesis(More)