Chronic vicarious social defeat stress attenuates new-born neuronal cell survival in mouse hippocampus

Toshinori Yoshioka, Daisuke Yamada, Riho Kobayashi, Eri Segi-Nishida, Akiyoshi Saitoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Increasing evidence has shown that adult hippocampal neurogenesis is closely related to the pathophysiological condition of depressive disorders. Recently, chronic social defeat stress paradigms have been regarded as important animal models of depression, accompanied with neural plastic changes in the hippocampus. However, little is known about influences of non-physical stress on neurogenesis. In the present study, we focused on the chronic vicarious social defeat stress paradigm and examined the effect of psychological stress on mouse hippocampal neurogenesis. Immediately after the chronic psychological stress, the cell survival rate in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus was significantly diminished without modifying the cell proliferation rate. The decreased ratio in cell survival persisted for 4 weeks after the stress-loading period, while the differentiation and maturity of new-born neurons were identical to control groups. Furthermore, treatment with the chronic antidepressant fluoxetine reversed the social behavioral deficits and promoted new-born neurons survival. These results demonstrate that emotional stress in the vicarious social defeat stress paradigm influences neuronal cell survival in the hippocampus, which reinforces its validity as an animal model of depression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113536
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2022


  • Animal model
  • Antidepressants
  • Depression
  • Neurogenesis
  • Psychological stress
  • Social defeat stress


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