A role for CRH and HPA Activation in the Regulation of Plasticity Signaling, Neuroinflammation and Emotional/Mnesic Behavior Following Global Cerebral Ischemia in Rats

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Title: A role for CRH and HPA Activation in the Regulation of Plasticity Signaling, Neuroinflammation and Emotional/Mnesic Behavior Following Global Cerebral Ischemia in Rats
Authors: Barra de la Tremblaye, Patricia
Date: 2016
Abstract: Depression occurs in about one third of patients with stroke and cardiac arrest. Hyperactivity of the stress system is the most commonly observed neuroendocrine change in major depressive disorder (MDD), which involves elevated levels in the cerebrospinal fluid of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), a key stress neurohormone. Substantial evidence suggests that normalization of the stress system may be a requirement for successful treatment of MDD through region-specific changes in the mesocorticolimbic circuitry. Thus, alteration in the stress system may underlie the emotional and functional impairments observed following brain ischemic events. In addition, recent findings suggest that ischemic brain injury triggers a restorative process, creating a cerebral environment similar to that of early brain development, a period characterized by rapid neuronal growth and neuroplasticity, critical to optimize functional recovery of individuals post stroke. In particular brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), has been shown to play an important role in the pathophysiology of major depression and cerebral ischemia. However, whether CRH can mediate the expression of BDNF in the reparative process triggered by ischemic injury remains to be characterized. Therefore, the purpose of the current thesis is to characterize the effect of pharmacological blockade of CRH signaling at the onset of a global ischemic stroke, on emotional and cognitive behaviors, alteration in the neuroendocrine stress system, and markers of neuroplasticity including BDNF. To do this, an animal model of global cerebral ischemia with subsequent behavioral testing and postmortem brain analysis was used to determine underlying biochemical and behavioral changes modulated by CRH signaling following brain ischemia. This doctoral work will help elucidate the relationship between CRH and BDNF in the context of cerebral ischemia, and may provide insights for therapies targeting the stress system. These studies address considerations such as: the interplay between stress, neuroplasticity and emotionality, and whether global ischemia can affect mood via changes in the HPA axis response.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/34645
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-5842
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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