Chronic stress induces adaptive changes in the brain via the cumulative action of glucocorticoids, which is associated with mood disorders. Here we show that repeated daily five-minute restraint resolves pre-existing stress-induced depressive-like behavior in mice. Repeated injection of glucocorticoids in low doses mimics the anti-depressive effects of short-term stress. Repeated exposure to short-term stress and injection of glucocorticoids activate neurons in largely overlapping regions of the brain, as shown by c-Fos staining, and reverse distinct stress-induced gene expression profiles. Chemogenetic inhibition of neurons in the prelimbic cortex projecting to the nucleus accumbens, basolateral amygdala, or bed nucleus of the stria terminalis results in anti-depressive effects similarly to short-term stress exposure, while only inhibition of neurons in the prelimbic cortex projecting to the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis rescues defective glucocorticoid release. In summary, we show that short-term stress can reverse adaptively altered stress gains and resolve stress-induced depressive-like behavior.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by a grant (2021R1A2B5B02002245) from the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning, Republic of Korea.
© 2021, The Author(s).