Chronic fluoxetine increases extra-hippocampal neurogenesis in adult mice.
BACKGROUND: Chronic treatment with antidepressants has been shown to enhance neurogenesis in the adult mammalian brain. Although this effect was initially reported to be restricted to the hippocampus, recent work has suggested that fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, also promotes neurogenesis in the cortex. However, whether antidepressants target neural progenitor cells in other brain regions has not been examined. METHODS: Here, we used BrdU labeling and immunohistochemistry with a transgenic mouse line in which nestin+ neural progenitor cells can be inducibly labeled with the fluorescent protein, Tomato, following tamoxifen administration. We investigated the effects of chronic fluoxetine on cell proliferation and nestin+ progenitor cells in periventricular areas in the medial hypothalamus and medial habenula, two brain areas involved in stress and anxiety responses. RESULTS: Our data provide the first in vivo evidence that fluoxetine promotes cell proliferation and neurogenesis and increases the mRNA levels of BDNF in the hypothalamus and habenula. CONCLUSIONS: By identifying novel cellular targets of fluoxetine, our results may provide new insight into the mechanisms underlying antidepressant responses.
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