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BioMed research international

Subchronic Arsenic Exposure Induces Anxiety-Like Behaviors in Normal Mice and Enhances Depression-Like Behaviors in the Chemically Induced Mouse Model of Depression.


PMID 26114099

Abstract

Accumulating evidence implicates that subchronic arsenic exposure causes cerebral neurodegeneration leading to behavioral disturbances relevant to psychiatric disorders. However, there is still little information regarding the influence of subchronic exposure to arsenic-contaminated drinking water on mood disorders and its underlying mechanisms in the cerebral prefrontal cortex. The aim of this study is to assess the effects of subchronic arsenic exposure (10 mg/LAs2O3 in drinking water) on the anxiety- and depression-like behaviors in normal mice and in the chemically induced mouse model of depression by reserpine pretreatment. Our findings demonstrated that 4 weeks of arsenic exposure enhance anxiety-like behaviors on elevated plus maze (EPM) and open field test (OFT) in normal mice, and 8 weeks of arsenic exposure augment depression-like behaviors on tail suspension test (TST) and forced swimming test (FST) in the reserpine pretreated mice. In summary, in this present study, we demonstrated that subchronic arsenic exposure induces only the anxiety-like behaviors in normal mice and enhances the depression-like behaviors in the reserpine induced mouse model of depression, in which the cerebral prefrontal cortex BDNF-TrkB signaling pathway is involved. We also found that eight weeks of subchronic arsenic exposure are needed to enhance the depression-like behaviors in the mouse model of depression. These findings imply that arsenic could be an enhancer of depressive symptoms for those patients who already had the attribute of depression.