Pituitary adenylate-cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) has been implicated in the (patho)physiology of stress-adaptation. PACAP deficient (PACAP -/-) mice show altered anxiety levels and depression-like behavior, but little is known about the underlying mechanisms in stress-related brain areas. Therefore, we aimed at investigating PACAP -/- mice in light-dark box, marble burying, open field, and forced swim paradigms. We also analyzed whether the forced swim test-induced c-Fos expression would be affected by PACAP deficiency in the following stress-related brain areas: magno- and parvocellular paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN); basolateral (BLA), medial (MeA), and central (CeA) amygdaloid nuclei; ventral (BSTv), dorsolateral (BSTdl), dorsomedial (BSTdm), and oval (BSTov) nuclei of the bed nucleus of stria terminalis; dorsal (dLS) and ventral parts (vLS) of lateral septal nucleus, central projecting Edinger-Westphal nucleus (EWcp), dorsal (dPAG) and lateral (lPAG) periaqueductal gray matter, dorsal raphe nucleus (DR). Our results revealed that PACAP -/- mice showed greatly reduced anxiety and increased locomotor activity compared with wildtypes. In forced swim test PACAP -/- mice showed increased depression-like behavior. Forced swim exposure increased c-Fos expression in all examined brain areas in wildtypes, whereas this was markedly blunted in the DR, EWcp, BSTov, BSTdl, BSTv, PVN, vLS, dPAG, and in the lPAG of PACAP -/- mice vs. wildtypes, strongly suggesting their involvement in the behavioral phenotype of PACAP -/- mice. PACAP deficiency did not influence the c-Fos response in the CeA, MeA, BSTdm, and dLS. Therefore, we propose that PACAP exerts a brain area-specific effect on stress-induced neuronal activation and it might contribute to stress-related mood disorders.
|Number of pages||17|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 27 2012|
- Bed nucleus of stria terminalis
- Dorsal raphe nucleus
- Edinger-Westphal nucleus
- Hypothalmic paraventricular nucleus
ASJC Scopus subject areas