Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The Day After A Stressful Event, Rats Lose Brain Cells

Date:
March 15, 2007
Source:
Society for Neuroscience
Summary:
A single, socially stressful situation can kill off new nerve cells in the brain region that processes learning, memory and emotion, and possibly contribute to depression, new animal research shows.

A single, socially stressful situation can kill off new nerve cells in the brain region that processes learning, memory, and emotion, and possibly contribute to depression, new animal research shows.

Related Articles


Researchers found that in young rats, the stress of encountering aggressive, older rats did not stop the generation of new nerve cells--the first step in the process of neurogenesis. But stress did prevent the cells, located in the hippocampus, from surviving, leaving fewer new neurons for processing feelings and emotions.

The hippocampus is one of two regions of the brain that continues to develop new nerve cells throughout life, in both rats and humans. The reduction of neurogenesis could be one cause of depression, says senior author Daniel Peterson, PhD, of the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, near Chicago. His team reports their findings in the March 14 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

"This is strong evidence that the effects of social stress on neurogenesis occur after a delay of 24 hours or more, providing a possible time window for treatment after acute episodes of stress," says Henriette van Praag, PhD, of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

When Peterson and his research team put a young rat in a cage with two older rats for 20 minutes, the resident rats quickly pinned down and, in many cases, bit the intruder. The team reported that intruder rats were fearful and acted depressed around the bigger, more mature animals and had stress hormone levels six times as high as young rats that didn't experience a stressful encounter.

Examining the rats' brains under a microscope, the scientists discovered that even with high levels of stress hormones, the young, stressed rats generated as many new cells as their unstressed counterparts. Previous research had led some to think that hormone levels played a role in blocking the generation of new cells or caused them to die early on. But a week after the encounter, the team found that only a third of the cells generated under stress had survived. Long-term survival of nerve cells was also compromised: When Peterson's team marked newborn cells in the hippocampus, subjected rats to stress a week later, then examined brain tissue at the end of a month, they counted a third fewer fully developed nerve cells.

"The next step is to understand how stress reduced this survival," says Peterson. "We want to determine if anti-depressant medications might be able to keep these vulnerable new neurons alive."

The work was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Neuroscience. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Neuroscience. "The Day After A Stressful Event, Rats Lose Brain Cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070314093335.htm>.
Society for Neuroscience. (2007, March 15). The Day After A Stressful Event, Rats Lose Brain Cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070314093335.htm
Society for Neuroscience. "The Day After A Stressful Event, Rats Lose Brain Cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070314093335.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) Take a stab at this -- stunt video shows a lamb chop's journey from an east London restaurant over 30 kilometers into space. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins