Inosine, a breakdown product of adenosine, has recently been shown to exert immunomodulatory and neuroprotective effects. We show here that the oral administration of inosine has antidepressant-like effects in two animal models. Inosine significantly enhanced neurite outgrowth and viability of primary cultured neocortical neurons, which was suppressed by adenosine A1 and A2A receptor agonists. Oral administration of inosine to mice transiently increased its concentration in the brain and enhanced neuronal proliferation in the dentate gyrus, accompanied by phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase and increase in transcript level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor. In stress models, oral inosine prevented an increase in immobility time in forced swim test after chronically unexpected stress and mitigated a reduction in sucrose preference after chronic social defeat stress. These results indicate that oral administration of inosine has the potential to prevent depressive disorder via adenosine receptors.
BackgroundHistone acetylation is regulated in response to stress and plays an important role in learning and memory. Chronic stress is known to deteriorate cognition, whereas acute stress facilitates memory formation. However, whether acute stress facilitates memory formation when it is applied after fear stimulation is not yet known. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the effect of acute stress applied after fear training on memory formation, mRNA expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), epigenetic regulation of BDNF expression, and corticosterone level in mice in vivo.MethodsMice were subjected to acute immobilization stress for 30 min at 60 or 90 min after contextual fear conditioning training, and acetylation of histone 3 at lysine 14 (H3K14) and level of corticosterone were measured using western blot analysis and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), respectively. A freezing behavior test was performed 24 h after training, and mRNA expression of BDNF was measured using real-time polymerase chain reactions. Different groups of mice were used for each test.ResultsFreezing behavior significantly decreased with the down-regulation of BDNF mRNA expression caused by acute immobilization stress at 60 min after fear conditioning training owing to the reduction of H3K14 acetylation. However, BDNF mRNA expression and H3K14 acetylation were not reduced in animals subjected to immobilization stress at 90 min after the training. Further, the corticosterone level was significantly high in mice subjected to immobilization stress at 60 min after the training.ConclusionAcute immobilization stress for 30 min at 60 min after fear conditioning training impaired memory formation and reduced BDNF mRNA expression and H3K14 acetylation in the hippocampus of mice owing to the high level of corticosterone.Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12993-016-0092-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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