Early-life exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors: Long-term effects on pain and affective comorbidities

M. Baudat*, A.R. de Kort, D.L.A. van den Hove, E.A. Joosten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

A growing body of evidence indicates that early-life exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor has long-term consequences on the offspring's pain in addition to affective disorders like anxiety disorder and major depression. Serotonin, besides its role in regulating pain and emotions, promotes neuronal network formation. The prefrontal cortex and the amygdala are two key brain regions involved in the modulation of pain and its affective comorbidities. Thus, the aim of this review is to understand how early-life selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor exposure alters the developing prefrontal cortex and amygdala and thereby underlies the long-term changes in pain and its affective comorbidities in later life. While there is still limited data on the effects of early-life selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor exposure on pain, there is a substantial body of evidence on its affective comorbidities. From this perspective paper, four conclusions emerged. First, early-life selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor exposure results in long-term nociceptive effects, which needs to be consistently studied to clarify. Second, it results in enhanced depressive-like behaviour and diminished exploratory behaviour in adult rodents. Third, early-life selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor exposure alters serotonergic levels, transcription factors expression, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels, resulting in hyperconnectivity within the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex. Finally, it affects antinociceptive inputs of the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala in the spinal cord. We conclude that early-life selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor exposure affects the maturation of prefrontal cortex and amygdala circuits and thereby enhances their antinociceptive inputs in the spinal cord.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-317
Number of pages23
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Volume55
Issue number1
Early online date16 Dec 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Keywords

  • affective disorders
  • amygdala
  • early-life
  • pain
  • prefrontal cortex
  • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
  • NEONATAL FLUOXETINE EXPOSURE
  • HIPPOCAMPAL BDNF GENE
  • PRENATAL STRESS
  • PERINATAL FLUOXETINE
  • DEVELOPMENTAL FLUOXETINE
  • FUNCTIONAL CONNECTIVITY
  • ANTIDEPRESSANT EXPOSURE
  • 5-HT TRANSPORTER
  • SSRI EXPOSURE
  • RAT-BRAIN

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