Experiences during brain development may influence the pathogenesis of developmental disorders. Thus, social isolation (SI) rearing after weaning is a useful animal model for studying the pathological mechanisms of such psychiatric diseases. In this study, we examined the effect of SI on neurogenesis in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) relating to memory and emotion-related behaviors. When newly divided cells were labeled with 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) before SI, the number of BrdU-positive cells and the rate of differentiation into neurons were significantly decreased after 4-week SI compared with those in group-housed mice. Repeated treatment of fluoxetine prevented the SI-induced impairment of survival of newly divided cells and ameliorated spatial memory impairment and part of aggression in SI mice. Furthermore, we investigated the changes in gene expression in the DG of SI mice by using DNA microarray and real-time PCR. We finally found that SI reduced the expression of development-related genes Nurr1 and Npas4. These findings suggest that communication in juvenile is important in the survival and differentiation of newly divided cells, which may be associated with memory and aggression, and raise the possibility that the reduced expression of Nurr1 and/or Npas4 may contribute to the impairment of neurogenesis and memory and aggression induced by SI.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience