There is accumulating evidence that adult neurogenesis and dendritic plasticity in the hippocampus are neuroplastic phenomena, highly sensitive to the effects of chronic stress and treatment with most classes of antidepressant drugs, being involved in the onset and recovery from depression. However, the effects of antidepressants that act through the selective inhibition of monoamine oxidase subtype A (MAO-A) in these phenomena are still largely unknown. In the present study, adult neurogenesis and neuronal morphology were examined in the hippocampus of rats exposed to chronic mild stress (CMS) and treated with the selective reversible MAO-A inhibitor (RIMA) drug, pirlindole and the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), fluoxetine. The results provide the first demonstration that selective MAO-A inhibition with pirlindole is able to revert the behavioural effects of stress exposure while promoting hippocampal adult neurogenesis and rescuing the stress-induced dendritic atrophy of granule neurons.
Keywords: Depression; fluoxetine; hippocampus; neurogenesis; neuroplasticity; pirlindole; stress.
© The Author(s) 2014.