Selective attenuation of electrophysiological activity of the dentate gyrus in a social defeat mouse model

J Physiol Sci. 2017 Jul;67(4):507-513. doi: 10.1007/s12576-016-0481-0. Epub 2016 Aug 29.


Current research on stress pathology has revealed a set of molecular and cellular mechanisms through which psychosocial stress impairs brain function. However, there are few studies that have examined how chronic stress exposure alters neuronal activity patterns at a network level. Here, we recorded ensemble neuronal activity patterns of the cortico-hippocampal network from urethane-anesthetized mice that were subjected to repeated social defeat stress. In socially defeated mice, the magnitudes of local field potential signals, including theta, slow gamma, and fast gamma oscillations, were significantly reduced in the dentate gyrus, whereas they remained unchanged in the hippocampus and somatosensory cortex. In accordance with the vast majority of histological and biochemical studies, our evidence from electrophysiological investigations highlights the dentate gyrus as a key brain area that is primarily susceptible to stress-induced dysfunction.

Keywords: Dentate gyrus; Hippocampus; Network; Social stress.

MeSH terms

  • Aggression*
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal*
  • Brain Waves*
  • Dentate Gyrus / physiopathology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Hippocampus / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Nerve Net / physiopathology
  • Social Behavior*
  • Somatosensory Cortex / physiopathology
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Time Factors