Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.527, No.1, 311-316, 2020
Neonatal DEX exposure leads to hyperanxious and depressive-like behaviors as well as a persistent reduction of BDNF expression in developmental stages
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which regulates the neuronal survival, differentiation and synaptic plasticity, has been proved to play a critical role in the pathology and treatment of several psychiatric disorders including depression. Dexamethaone (DEX) is indicated for a number of conditions in perinatal medicine, however, the long-term impact of early-life DEX exposure on BDNF expression in hippocampus remains unknown. Here we found that neonatal DEX(ND) exposure leads to insignificant change of BDNF expression levels in the adulthood, albeit increased hyperanxious and depressive-like behaviors. However, the bdnf mRNA and BDNF protein levels were significantly reduced in all the hippocampal subregions during the developmental stages, including the perinatal period and puberty. We conclude that early life DEX exposure leads to a persistent disturbance of BDNF signaling during the developmental stages, which might be associated with the life-long impairment of hippocampal function. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.