Deep brain stimulation in treatment-resistant depression in mice: comparison with the CRF1 antagonist, SSR125543.

Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology & biological psychiatry

PubMedID: 23367508

Dournes C, Beeské S, Belzung C, Griebel G. Deep brain stimulation in treatment-resistant depression in mice: comparison with the CRF1 antagonist, SSR125543. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2013;40213-20.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been demonstrated to represent a targeted therapeutic alternative for treatment-resistant depression. In this study, we used the unpredictable chronic mild stress (UCMS) test to validate high-frequency electrical stimulation of the cingulate cortex (CC) as a possible treatment to improve behavioral symptoms associated with a depressive-like state in treatment-resistant mice. The effects of DBS were compared with those of the CRF(1) antagonist, SSR125543. Mice were subjected to UCMS, which consisted of the sequential and unpredictable application of mild stressors for a total of 8 weeks. From week 4 until the end of week 6, mice received either a saline injection or were treated with the antidepressant, fluoxetine (10 mg/kg, i.p.). At the end of week 6, fluoxetine-treated mice were subdivided into two populations, that is one responding to fluoxetine, and one not responding, based on their fur coat state, an index of depressive-like state in this test. Non-responders were subsequently subjected to bilateral DBS (at 80 or 120 Hz, 1-h/day) or were treated with SSR125543 (20 mg/kg, i.p.) for two weeks. Stimulation of the CC at 120 Hz in treatment-resistant mice resulted in a normalization of motivated-like responses, anxiety-related behaviors, hyperactivity and aggressiveness. SSR125543 improved motivated-like and aggressive behaviors. These findings demonstrate that bilateral DBS of the CC and, to a lesser extent, pharmacological blockade of the CRF(1) receptor in treatment-resistant mice can attenuate several aspects of depressive-like behaviors, suggesting further that these approaches may represent valid alternatives for the treatment of drug-resistant depressed and/or anxious patients.