Depressive-Like Parameters in Sepsis Survivor Rats
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The inflammatory and immune responses evoked in sepsis may create not only an acute brain dysfunction, which occurs in the majority of septic patients, but also long-term deficits such as memory impairment. In this context, we evaluated depressive-like parameters in sepsis survivor rats. For this purpose, male Wistar rats, weighing 300-350 g, underwent cecal ligation and perforation (CLP) (sepsis group) followed by "basic support", or were sham-operated (control group). After 3 days of the sepsis procedure, the animals were treated with imipramine at 10 mg/kg or saline during 14 days (days 3-17). The consumption of sweet food was measured for 7 days (days 10-17) and the body weight was measured before CLP, 10, and 17 days after CLP. Seventeen days after sepsis (immediately after sweet food consumption measurement), the animals were anesthetized and blood was withdrawn for the analyses of corticosterone and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels, and immediately killed by decapitation. The adrenal gland and hippocampus were immediately isolated and weighed, and the hippocampus was utilized for determining brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels. It was observed that animals subjected to CLP presented decreased sucrose intake. Septic rats did not increase body weight and presented an increase in the weight of adrenal gland. Both corticosterone and ACTH levels were increased, while hippocampus weight and BDNF levels in the hippocampus decreased. The treatment with imipramine reversed all the parameters described above. Our results supported the hypothesis that rats that survive sepsis show depressive-like behavior, alterations in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, and decreased BDNF levels in the hippocampus.
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