[PUBLICATION] Increasing Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis Promotes Resilience in a Mouse Model of Depression

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Neurogenesis and Depression
Neurogenesis and Depression

le 10 mai 2021

Published in Cells

Collaborative research project led by Prof. Catherine Belzung

Increasing Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis Promotes Resilience in a Mouse Model of Depression


Many studies evaluated the functional role of adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) and its key role in cognitive functions and mood regulation. The effects of promoting AHN on the recovery of stress-induced symptoms have been well studied, but its involvement in stress resilience remains elusive. We used a mouse model enabling us to foster AHN before the exposure to unpredictable chronic mild stress (UCMS) to evaluate the potential protective effects of AHN on stress, assessing the depressive-like phenotype and executive functions. For this purpose, an inducible transgenic mouse model was used to delete the pro-apoptotic gene Bax from neural progenitors four weeks before UCMS, whereby increasing the survival of adult-generated neurons. Our results showed that UCMS elicited a depressive-like phenotype, highlighted by a deteriorated coat state, a higher immobility duration in the tail suspension test (TST), and a delayed reversal learning in a water maze procedure. Promoting AHN before UCMS was sufficient to prevent the development of stressed-induced behavioral changes in the TST and the water maze, reflecting an effect of AHN on stress resilience. Taken together, our data suggest that increasing AHN promotes stress resilience on some depressive-like symptoms but also in cognitive symptoms, which are often observed in MD.


adult hippocampal neurogenesis; chronic stress; depression; depressive-like behaviors; flexibility; hippocampus; inhibition; stress resilience.

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