Repeated social defeat induces transient glial activation and brain hypometabolism: A positron emission tomography imaging study

Kopschina Feltes, P., de Vries, E. F., Juarez-Orozco, L. E., Kurtys, E., Dierckx, R. A., Moriguchi-Jeckel, C. M. & Doorduin, J., Mar-2019, In : Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism. 39, 3, p. 439-453 15 p.

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Psychosocial stress is a risk factor for the development of depression. Recent evidence suggests that glial activation could contribute to the development of depressive-like behaviour. This study aimed to evaluate in vivo whether repeated social defeat (RSD) induces short- and long-term inflammatory and metabolic alterations in the brain through positron emission tomography (PET). Male Wistar rats ( n = 40) were exposed to RSD by dominant Long-Evans rats on five consecutive days. Behavioural and biochemical alterations were assessed at baseline, day 5/6 and day 24/25 after the RSD protocol. Glial activation (11C-PK11195 PET) and changes in brain metabolism (18F-FDG PET) were evaluated on day 6, 11 and 25 (short-term), and at 3 and 6 months (long-term). Defeated rats showed transient depressive- and anxiety-like behaviour, increased corticosterone and brain IL-1β levels, as well as glial activation and brain hypometabolism in the first month after RSD. During the third- and six-month follow-up, no between-group differences in any investigated parameter were found. Therefore, non-invasive PET imaging demonstrated that RSD induces transient glial activation and reduces brain glucose metabolism in rats. These imaging findings were associated with stress-induced behavioural changes and support the hypothesis that neuroinflammation could be a contributing factor in the development of depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-453
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number3
Early online date22-Dec-2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2019


  • Brain metabolism, depression, neuroinflammation, positron emission tomography imaging, repeated social defeat, ANXIETY-LIKE BEHAVIOR, ELEVATED PLUS-MAZE, BENZODIAZEPINE-RECEPTOR, OBJECT RECOGNITION, MEMORY IMPAIRMENT, MAJOR DEPRESSION, ANIMAL-MODEL, RAT-BRAIN, STRESS, CORTEX

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