IJMS, Vol. 22, Pages 10976: Short Daily Exposure to Environmental Enrichment, Fluoxetine, or Their Combination Reverses Deterioration of the Coat and Anhedonia Behaviors with Differential Effects on Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Chronically Stressed Mice
International Journal of Molecular Sciences doi: 10.3390/ijms222010976
Gerardo Bernabé Ramírez-Rodríguez
Nelly Maritza Vega-Rivera
David Meneses-San Juan
Erika Montserrat Estrada-Camarena
Depression is a neuropsychiatric disorder with a high impact on the worldwide population. To overcome depression, antidepressant drugs are the first line of treatment. However, pre-clinical studies have pointed out that antidepressants are not entirely efficacious and that the quality of the living environment after stress cessation may play a relevant role in increasing their efficacy. As it is unknown whether a short daily exposure to environmental enrichment during chronic stress and antidepressant treatment will be more effective than just the pharmacological treatment, this study analyzed the effects of fluoxetine, environmental enrichment, and their combination on depressive-associated behavior. Additionally, we investigated hippocampal neurogenesis in mice exposed to chronic mild stress. Our results indicate that fluoxetine reversed anhedonia. Besides, fluoxetine reversed the decrement of some events of the hippocampal neurogenic process caused by chronic mild stress. Conversely, short daily exposure to environmental enrichment changed the deterioration of the coat and anhedonia. Although, this environmental intervention did not produce significant changes in the neurogenic process affected by chronic mild stress, fluoxetine plus environmental enrichment showed similar effects to those caused by environmental enrichment to reverse depressive-like behaviors. Like fluoxetine, the combination reversed the declining number of Ki67, doublecortin, calretinin cells and mature newborn neurons. Finally, this study suggests that short daily exposure to environmental enrichment improves the effects of fluoxetine to reverse the deterioration of the coat and anhedonia in chronically stressed mice. In addition, the combination of fluoxetine with environmental enrichment produces more significant effects than those caused by fluoxetine alone on some events of the neurogenic process. Thus, environmental enrichment improves the benefits of pharmacological treatment by mechanisms that need to be clarified.
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