Changes in apoptotic factors in hypothalamus and hippocampus after acute and subchronic stress induction during conditioned place preference paradigm
Keywords:apoptosis, hypothalamus, hippocampus, forced swim stress, conditioned place preference, rat
The hypothalamus (HYP) and hippocampus (HIP) are important regions involved in stress responses. These areas are also associated with reward processing. In this study, the effects of acute and subchronic stress on the changes in apoptotic factors (Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, caspase-3 activation and PARP degradation) in the HYP and HIP during conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm were evaluated. Male Wistar rats were divided into two saline- and morphine-treated supergroups. Each supergroup contained control, acute stress (AS) and subchronic stress (SS) groups. In all groups, CPP paradigm was done and thereinafter alterations of apoptotic factors were measured by western blot. The results revealed that in the HYP, all mentioned factors increased significantly in saline- or morphine-treated animals during AS and SS. On the other hand, in the HIP, Bax/Bcl-2 ratio in saline-treated animals increased significantly during AS and SS, while in morphine-treated animals this ratio did not have any significant alteration during AS and was decreased during SS compared with morphine-control group. Caspase-3 and PARP increased during AS and SS in saline- or morphine-treated animals. For example, caspase-3 increased during AS and SS in morphine-treated animals by 2.4 folds and PARP (89 KDa) increased by 3.1 and 3.5 folds, respectively. Interestingly, the increase of apoptotic factors in morphine-treated animals was more considerable than that of saline-treated animals. These results strongly implied that AS and SS trigger apoptotic events in the HYP and HIP of saline- and/or morphine-treated animals as well as morphine reinforces the effect of stress on the induction of apoptosis.
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