An escapable (ES)/inescapable stress (IS) paradigm was used to study whether behavioral control and repeated footshock stressors may affect adult neurogenesis and related cognitive function. Male stressed mice having behavioral control (ES) had a short-term escalation in dorsal dentate gyrus (DG) neurogenesis, while similarly stressed mice having no such control had unaltered neurogenesis as compared to control mice receiving no stressors. Paradoxically, ES and IS mice had comparable stress-induced corticosterone elevations throughout the stress regimen. Appetitive operant conditioning and forced running procedures were used to model learning and exercise effects in this escapable/inescapable paradigm. Further, conditioning and running procedures did not seem to affect the mice’s corticosterone or short-term neurogenesis. ES and IS mice did not show noticeable long-term changes in their dorsal DG neurogenesis, gliogenesis, local neuronal density, apoptosis, autophagic flux, or heterotypic stress responses. ES mice were found to have a greater number of previously labeled and functionally integrated DG neurons as compared to IS and control mice 6 weeks after the conclusion of the stressor regimen. Likewise, ES mice outperformed IS and non-stressed control mice for the first two, but not the remaining two, trials in the object location task. Compared to non-stressed controls, temozolomide-treated ES and IS mice having a lower number of dorsal DG 6-week-old neurons display poor performance in their object location working memory. These results, taken together, prompt us to conclude that repeated stressors, albeit their corticosterone secretion-stimulating effect, do not necessary affect adult dorsal DG neurogenesis. Moreover, stressed animals having behavioral control may display adult neurogenesis escalation in the dorsal DG. Furthermore, the number of 6-week-old and functionally-integrated neurons in the dorsal DG seems to confer the quality of spatial location working memory. Finally, these 6-week-old, adult-born neurons seem to contribute spatial location memory in a use-dependent manner.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry