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Omega-3 alleviates behavioral and molecular changes in a mouse model of stress-induced juvenile depression


Strekalova, Tatyana; Radford-Smith, Daniel; Dunstan, Isobel K; Gorlova, Anna; Svirin, Evgeniy; Sheveleva, Elisaveta; Burova, Alisa; Morozov, Sergey; Lyundup, Aleksey; Berger, Gregor; Anthony, Daniel C; Walitza, Susanne (2024). Omega-3 alleviates behavioral and molecular changes in a mouse model of stress-induced juvenile depression. Neurobiology of Stress, 31:100646.

Abstract

Introduction: Depression is increasingly diagnosed in adolescence, necessitating specific prevention and treatment methods. However, there is a lack of animal models mimicking juvenile depression. This study explores a novel model using ultrasound (US) stress in juvenile mice.

Methods: We employed the US stress model in one-month-old C57/BL6 mice, exposing them to alternating ultrasound frequencies (20-25 kHz and 25-45 kHz) for three weeks. These frequencies correspond to negative and neutral emotional states in rodents and can induce a depressive-like syndrome. Concurrently, mice received either an omega-3 food supplement (FS) containing eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 0.55 mg/kg/day) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 0.55 mg/kg/day) or a vehicle. Post-stress, we evaluated anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors, blood corticosterone levels, brain expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, and conducted metabolome analysis of brain, liver and blood plasma.

Results: US-exposed mice treated with vehicle exhibited decreased sucrose preference, a sign of anhedonia, a key feature of depression, increased anxiety-like behavior, elevated corticosterone levels, and enhanced TNF and IL-1β gene expression in the brain. In contrast, US-FS mice did not display these changes. Omega-3 supplementation also reduced anxiety-like behavior in non-stressed mice. Metabolomic analysis revealed US-induced changes in brain energy metabolism, with FS increasing brain sphingomyelin. Liver metabolism was affected by both US and FS, while plasma metabolome changes were exclusive to FS. Brain glucose levels correlated positively with activity in anxiety tests.

Conclusion: Chronic omega-3 intake counteracted depressive- and anxiety-like behaviors in a US model of juvenile depression in mice. These effects likely stem from the anti-inflammatory properties of the supplement, suggesting potential therapeutic applications in juvenile depression.

Abstract

Introduction: Depression is increasingly diagnosed in adolescence, necessitating specific prevention and treatment methods. However, there is a lack of animal models mimicking juvenile depression. This study explores a novel model using ultrasound (US) stress in juvenile mice.

Methods: We employed the US stress model in one-month-old C57/BL6 mice, exposing them to alternating ultrasound frequencies (20-25 kHz and 25-45 kHz) for three weeks. These frequencies correspond to negative and neutral emotional states in rodents and can induce a depressive-like syndrome. Concurrently, mice received either an omega-3 food supplement (FS) containing eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 0.55 mg/kg/day) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 0.55 mg/kg/day) or a vehicle. Post-stress, we evaluated anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors, blood corticosterone levels, brain expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, and conducted metabolome analysis of brain, liver and blood plasma.

Results: US-exposed mice treated with vehicle exhibited decreased sucrose preference, a sign of anhedonia, a key feature of depression, increased anxiety-like behavior, elevated corticosterone levels, and enhanced TNF and IL-1β gene expression in the brain. In contrast, US-FS mice did not display these changes. Omega-3 supplementation also reduced anxiety-like behavior in non-stressed mice. Metabolomic analysis revealed US-induced changes in brain energy metabolism, with FS increasing brain sphingomyelin. Liver metabolism was affected by both US and FS, while plasma metabolome changes were exclusive to FS. Brain glucose levels correlated positively with activity in anxiety tests.

Conclusion: Chronic omega-3 intake counteracted depressive- and anxiety-like behaviors in a US model of juvenile depression in mice. These effects likely stem from the anti-inflammatory properties of the supplement, suggesting potential therapeutic applications in juvenile depression.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Biochemistry
Life Sciences > Physiology
Life Sciences > Molecular Biology
Life Sciences > Endocrinology
Life Sciences > Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
Life Sciences > Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Uncontrolled Keywords:Eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids; Juvenile depression; Metabolome; Mice; Omega-3; Ultrasound stress.
Language:English
Date:24 July 2024
Deposited On:10 Jul 2024 13:15
Last Modified:11 Jul 2024 20:00
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:2352-2895
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ynstr.2024.100646
PubMed ID:38912378
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)