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Subfield-specific effects of chronic mild unpredictable stress on hippocampal astrocytes

Virmani, G and D'almeida, P and Nandi, A and Marathe, S (2021) Subfield-specific effects of chronic mild unpredictable stress on hippocampal astrocytes. In: European Journal of Neuroscience .

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/ejn.15234


Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a debilitating neuropsychiatric illness affecting over 20 of the population worldwide. Despite its prevalence, our understanding of its pathophysiology is severely limited, thus hampering the development of novel therapeutic strategies. Recent advances have clearly established astrocytes as major players in the pathophysiology, and plausibly pathogenesis, of major depression. In particular, astrocyte density in the hippocampus is severely diminished in MDD patients and correlates strongly with the disease outcome. Moreover, astrocyte densities from different subfields of the hippocampus show varying trends in terms of their correlation to the disease outcome. Given the central role that hippocampus plays in the pathophysiology of depression and in the action of antidepressant drugs, changes in hippocampal astrocyte density and physiology may have a significant effect on behavioral symptoms of MDD. In this study, we used chronic mild unpredictable stress (CMUS) in mice, which induces a depressive-like state, and examined its effects on astrocytes from different subfields of the hippocampus. We used SOX9 and S100β immunostaining to estimate the number of astrocytes per square millimeter from various hippocampal subfields. Furthermore, using confocal images of fluorescently labeled glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-immunopositive hippocampal astrocytes, we quantified various morphology-related parameters and performed Sholl analysis. We found that CMUS exerts differential effects on astrocyte cell numbers, ramification, cell radius, surface area, and process width of hippocampal astrocytes from different hippocampal subfields. Taken together, our study reveals that chronic stress does not uniformly affect all hippocampal astrocytes; but exerts its effects differentially on different astrocytic subpopulations within the hippocampus. © 2021 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: European Journal of Neuroscience
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to Authors
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Neuroscience
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2021 09:24
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2021 09:24
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/68955

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