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Evaluation of molecular brain changes associated with environmental stress in rodent models compared to human major depressive disorder: A proteomic systems approach.

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Cox, David Alan 
Gottschalk, Michael Gerd 
Stelzhammer, Viktoria 
Wesseling, Hendrik 
Cooper, Jason David 


OBJECTIVES: Rodent models of major depressive disorder (MDD) are indispensable when screening for novel treatments, but assessing their translational relevance with human brain pathology has proved difficult. METHODS: Using a novel systems approach, proteomics data obtained from post-mortem MDD anterior prefrontal cortex tissue (n = 12) and matched controls (n = 23) were compared with equivalent data from three commonly used preclinical models exposed to environmental stressors (chronic mild stress, prenatal stress and social defeat). Functional pathophysiological features associated with depression-like behaviour were identified in these models through enrichment of protein-protein interaction networks. A cross-species comparison evaluated which model(s) represent human MDD pathology most closely. RESULTS: Seven functional domains associated with MDD and represented across at least two models such as "carbohydrate metabolism and cellular respiration" were identified. Through statistical evaluation using kernel-based machine learning techniques, the social defeat model was found to represent MDD brain changes most closely for four of the seven domains. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to apply a method for directly evaluating the relevance of the molecular pathology of multiple animal models to human MDD on the functional level. The methodology and findings outlined here could help to overcome translational obstacles of preclinical psychiatric research.



Major depressive disorder, animal models, proteomics, social defeat, systems biology, Animals, Depressive Disorder, Major, Disease Models, Animal, Female, Humans, Male, Mice, Prefrontal Cortex, Protein Interaction Maps, Proteomics, Rats, Stress, Psychological

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World J Biol Psychiatry

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Informa UK Limited
Stanley Medical Research Institute (Grant ID: 424 07R-1888), NEWMEDS Innovative Medicines Initiative (Grant ID: FP7/2007-13)