Prenatal stress (PS) contributes to depression-like behavior in the offspring. PDLIM5 is involved in the onset of mental disorders. This study is to investigate the role and mechanism of PDLIM5 in depression-like behavior of PS offspring rats. PS model was used to analyze the effects of different treatments to PS offspring rats with different sex, including PDLIM5, PDLIM5 shRNA and 5-aza-2' -deoxycytidine (5-azaD). The depression-like behavior was assessed by the sucrose preference test (SPT) and forced swimming test (FST). The mRNA and protein expression levels of PDLIM5 in the hippocampus of PS offspring rats were detected by qRT-PCR and western blot, respectively. The methylation of PDLIM5 promoter were analyzed by bisulfite sequencing. Our data revealed that PS offspring rats showed a significant decrease in sucrose preference and a prolonged immobility time. Injection of PDLIM5 significantly improved the depression-like behavior in PS offspring rats, whereas administration of PDLIM5 shRNA aggravated it. In addition, PDLIM5 expression was decreased at the mRNA and protein levels, and the methylation level of PDLIM5 promoter was increased in hippocampus of PS male but not female offspring rats. Furthermore, microinjection of 5-azaD improved the PS induced depression-like behavior in offspring rats. Moreover, in male PS offspring rats, microinjection of 5-azaD reversed the effect of PS on PDLIM5 expression and promoter methylation. PDLIM5 can significantly improve the depression-like behavior of both male and female PS offspring rats, while the PDLIM5 promoter methylation is only observed in male PS offspring rats. Our study may provide new mechanism for the pathogenesis of depression and experimental evidence for sex-based precise treatment.
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