Background: Recent studies revealed that bipolar disorder may be associated with deficits of neuroplasticity. Additionally, accumulating evidence has implicated alterations of the intracellular signaling molecule protein kinase C (PKC) in mania.
Methods: Using sleep deprivation (SD) as an animal model of mania, this study aimed to examine the possible relationship between PKC and neuroplasticity in mania. Rats were subjected to SD for 72 h and tested behaviorally. In parallel, SD-induced changes in hippocampal cell proliferation were evaluated with bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) labeling. We then examined the effects of the mood stabilizer lithium, the antipsychotic agent aripiprazole, and the PKC inhibitors chelerythrine and tamoxifen on both behavioral and cell proliferation impairments induced by SD. The antidepressant fluoxetine was used as a negative control.
Results: We found that SD triggered the manic-like behaviors such as hyperlocomotion and increased sleep latency, and reduced hippocampal cell proliferation. These alterations were counteracted by an acute administration of lithium and aripiprazole but not of fluoxetine, and only a single administration of aripiprazole increased cell proliferation on its own. Importantly, SD rats exhibited increased levels of phosphorylated synaptosomal-associated protein 25 (SNAP-25) in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, suggesting PKC overactivity. Moreover, PKC inhibitors attenuated manic-like behaviors and rescued cell proliferation deficits induced by SD.
Conclusions: Our findings confirm the relevance of SD as a model of mania, and provide evidence that antimanic agents are also able to prevent SD-induced decrease of hippocampal cell proliferation. Furthermore, they emphasize the therapeutic potential of PKC inhibitors, as revealed by their antimanic-like and pro-proliferative properties.
Keywords: bipolar disorder; hippocampal cell proliferation; manic-like behaviors; protein kinase C; sleep deprivation.
© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.