Chronic corticosterone manipulations in mice affect brain cell proliferation rates, but only partly affect BDNF protein levels

J.H.H.J. Prickaerts*, D.L.A. van den Hove, F.L. Fierens, H.K. Kia, I. Lenaerts, T. Steckler

*Corresponding author for this work

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16 Citations (Web of Science)


We investigated whether the effects of corticosterone (CORT) on brain cell proliferation are mediated via its detrimental effect on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Using a [H-3]thymidine tracer study, it was demonstrated that the cell proliferation rate in the neurogenic hippocampus and subventricular zone was increased in placebo-treated adrenalectomized (ADX) mice with low plasma corticosterone levels when compared with chronically CORT-treated ADX animals (25 mg or 100 mg sustained-release pellet). The cell proliferation rate of SHAM animals was in between the ADX-placebo group and ADX CORT-treated groups. BDNF protein contents in the hippocampus and subventricular zone were not different between the SHAM group and ADX-placebo group, although BDNF contents were decreased in the chronically CORT-treated ADX animals. Thus, other factors besides BDNF are involved in mediating CORT-induced changes in cell proliferation. Further, CORT manipulations did not affect caspase-3-like activity in any of the brain regions investigated, suggesting that caspase-3 is not involved in possible CORT-induced cellular losses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-2007
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

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