The role of hippocampal monoamines and their related genes in the etiology and pathogenesis of depression-like behavior, particularly in impaired sociability traits and the meaning of changes in USVs emitted by pups, remains unknown. We assessed the effects of prenatal administration of S-adenosyl-methionine (SAMe) in Sub mice that exhibit depressive-like behavior on serotonergic, dopaminergic and noradrenergic metabolism and the activity of related genes in the hippocampus (HPC) in adulthood in comparison to saline-treated control Sub mice. During postnatal days 4 and 8, we recorded and analyzed the stress-induced USVs emitted by the pups and tried to understand how the changes in the USVs’ calls may be related to the changes in the monoamines and the activity of related genes. The recordings of the USVs showed that SAMe induced a reduction in the emitted flat and one-frequency step-up call numbers in PND4 pups, whereas step-down type calls were significantly increased by SAMe in PND8 pups. The reduction in the number of calls induced by SAMe following separation from the mothers implies a reduction in anxiety, which is an additional sign of decreased depressive-like behavior. Prenatal SAMe increased the concentrations of serotonin in the HPC in both male and female mice without any change in the levels of 5HIAA. It also decreased the level of the dopamine metabolite DOPAC in females. There were no changes in the levels of norepinephrine and metabolites. Several changes in the expression of genes associated with monoamine metabolism were also induced by prenatal SAMe. The molecular and biochemical data obtained from the HPC studies are generally in accordance with our previously obtained data from the prefrontal cortex of similarly treated Sub mice on postnatal day 90. The changes in both monoamines and their gene expression observed 2–3 months after SAMe treatment are associated with the previously recorded behavioral improvement and seem to demonstrate that SAMe is effective via an epigenetic mechanism.
- brain monoamine metabolism
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry