Glial cell activation in response to electroconvulsive seizures

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a very efficient treatment for severe depression. However, cognitive side effects have raised concern to whether ECT can cause cellular damage in vulnerable brain regions. A few recent animal studies have reported limited hippocampal cell loss, while a number of other studies have failed to find any signs of cellular damage and some even report that electroconvulsive seizures (ECS; the animal counterpart of ECT) has neuroprotective effects. We previously have described gliogenesis in response to ECS. Loss of glial cells is seen in depression and de novo formation of glial cells may thus have an important therapeutic role. Glial cell proliferation and activation is however also seen in response to neuronal damage. The aim of the present study was to further characterize glial cell activation in response to ECS. Two groups of rats were treated with 10 ECS using different sets of stimulus parameters. ECS-induced changes in the morphology and expression of markers typical for reactive microglia, astrocytes and NG2+ glial cells were analyzed immunohistochemically in prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, amygdala, hypothalamus, piriform cortex and entorhinal cortex. We observed changes in glial cell morphology and an enhanced expression of activation markers 2 h following ECS treatment, regardless of the stimulus parameters used. Four weeks later, few activated glial cells persisted. In conclusion, ECS treatment induced transient glial cell activation in several brain areas. Whether similar processes play a role in the therapeutic effect of clinically administered ECT or contribute to its side effects will require further investigations.

Details

Authors
Organisations
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychiatry
  • Neurosciences

Keywords

  • Stimulus parameters, NG2, Astrocyte, Electroconvulsive seizures, Microglia, Glial cell activation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1119-1128
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Volume33
Issue number7
Early online date2009 Jun 18
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

Bibliographic note

E-pub 2009 Jun 18.