Synaptic proteins after electroconvulsive stimulation: reversibility and regional differences in the brain

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1980 Nov;62(5):486-93. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1980.tb00637.x.


The pattern of changes in brain-specific proteins mainly related to the synapses were studied in rats given electroconvulsive stimuli (ECS). One group was studied after three ECS per week for 4 weeks, another was further allowed a recovery period of 12 weeks. The experimental animals were compared with adequate controls. Brain-specific proteins were analyzed using crossed immunoelectrophoresis. The changes in the protein pattern after 4 weeks of ECS differed in the regions studied and are interpreted as follows: in the hypothalamus the amount of synapses seem to have increased, in the forebrain synaptic remodelling is under way and in the occipital cortex a delay in the neuronal development has been induced. The results further indicate an overall increased preparedness to meet the glycolytic demands accompanying seizure. Following 12 weeks of recovery a partial reversion of the induced changes was observed. The implication of the findings in relation to newer concepts of the working action of electroconvulsive therapy is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Electroshock*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Synaptic Membranes / metabolism*
  • Time Factors


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins