Individual Differences in Behavioural Despair Predict Brain GSK-3beta Expression in Mice: The Power of a Modified Swim Test

Tatiana Strekalova*, Nataliia Markova, Elena Shevtsova, Olga Zubareva, Anastassia Bakhmet, Harry M. Steinbusch, Sergey Bachurin, Klaus-Peter Lesch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

While deficient brain plasticity is a well-established pathophysiologic feature of depression, little is known about disorder-associated enhanced cognitive processing. Here, we studied a novel mouse paradigm that potentially models augmented learning of adverse memories during development of a depressive-like state. We used a modification of the classic two-day protocol of a mouse Porsolt test with an additional session occurring on Day 5 following the initial exposure. Unexpectedly, floating behaviour and brain glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta (GSK-3beta) mRNA levels, a factor of synaptic plasticity as well as a marker of distress and depression, were increased during the additional swimming session that was prevented by imipramine. Observed increases of GSK-3beta mRNA in prefrontal cortex during delayed testing session correlated with individual parameters of behavioural despair that was not found in the classic Porsolt test. Repeated swim exposure was accompanied by a lower pGSK-3beta/GSK-3beta ratio. A replacement of the second or the final swim sessions with exposure to the context of testing resulted in increased GSK-3beta mRNA level similar to the effects of swimming, while exclusion of the second testing prevented these changes. Together, our findings implicate the activation of brain GSK-3beta expression in enhanced contextual conditioning of adverse memories, which is associated with an individual susceptibility to a depressive syndrome.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5098591
JournalNeural Plasticity
Volume2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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