Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 68
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825319

Consequences of chronic social stress on behavior, HPA-system regulation and AVP gene expression in the PVN, amygdala and hippocampus in mice – influence of CRH1-receptor antagonism

A Erhardt 1, T Welt 1, A Rödel 1, U Habersetzer 1, G Stecker 1, F Ohl 1, ME Keck 1
  • 1Max-Planck-Institut für Psychiatrie in München, Deutschland

Accumulating evidence suggests that AVP is involved in complex behavioral systems, leading in case of dysregulation to symptoms found in major depression, for example disturbances of memory processes and desynchronization of biological rhythms. Studies with chronic stress in rodents reveal a shift of the hypothalamic CRH/AVP signal in favour of AVP as is the case in human depression.

In this study we investigated the effects of chronic social defeat as a psychosocial stress paradigm and concomitant treatment with CRH1-receptor-antagonist R121919/NBI 30775 in DBA mice on 1) behavior in the modified hole board paradigm, 2) basal ACTH and glucocorticoid release and 3) expression of AVP mRNA in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, amygdala and hippocampus. First data suggest that chronic social defeat induces anxiety, changes in psychomotor activity and exploration with a prominent shift to passive behavioral strategies. So far, R121919/NBI 30775 seems to reverse some of the chronic stress-induced behavioral changes.