The impairment of social behaviors induced by social defeat stress exposure as juveniles is resistant to some antidepressants and an antipsychotic, although the underlying mechanisms and/or therapeutic target are not yet clear. In this study, we investigated the involvement of the glutamatergic neuronal system in the impairment of social behaviors in this model, as this system is known to be involved in many central pathologies. Acute administration of ketamine, a non-competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist and subsequent stimulation of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors, attenuated the expression of impairment of social behaviors. Lack of the NMDA receptor GluN2A subunit or acute administration of ifenprodil, an NMDA receptor GluN2B subunit antagonist, did not cause an effect. There were no significant changes in NMDA function, as determined by the ratios of phosphorylated NMDA receptor subunits in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. 2,3-Dihydroxy-6-nitro-7-sulfamoyl-benzo[f]quinoxaline-2,3-dione, a selective AMPA receptor antagonist, prevented the effect of ketamine on the expression of impairment of social behaviors. On the contrary, the ratio of phosphorylated AMPA receptor GluA1 subunit in the hippocampus was significantly increased in the non-tested, defeated group. Ketamine increased the level of total protein, but not the ratio of phosphorylated GluA1 in the hippocampus of the non-tested, defeated group. In conclusion, exposure to social defeat stress as juveniles may induce the expression of impairment of social behaviors in adolescents via functional changes in GluA1. Activators of AMPA receptor signaling, such as ketamine, may constitute a novel treatment strategy for stress-related psychiatric disorders in adolescents with adverse juvenile experiences.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience