Neurotrophic effects of tianeptine on hippocampal neurons: a proteomic approach
Chu CC, Wang JJ, Chen KT,
Shieh JP, Wang LK, Shui HA, Ho ST.
Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences,
National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan.
J Proteome Res. 2010 Feb 5;9(2):936-44.


Tianeptine, an atypical tricyclic antidepressant with unique characteristics, can improve memory and prevent stress-induced hippocampal damage. It has neuroplastic and neurotrophic effects on hippocampal neurons and can prevent dendritic atrophy of the hippocampus in certain pathological conditions. To obtain a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms, we performed a proteomic analysis on tianeptine-treated hippocampal neurons. Primary hippocampal neurons were prepared from fetal Sprague-Dawley rats, eliminating glia cells by addition of cytosine beta-D-arabinofuranoside at day 2 in vitro (DIV2). The neurons were treated with tianeptine (10 microg/mL) or vehicle at DIV3, then harvested at DIV4 or DIV9 for immunocytochemical analysis of, respectively, neurite outgrowth or synapse formation. A proteomics analysis was performed on DIV4 neurons and the data were confirmed by Western blot analysis. Using specific markers, we demonstrated that tianeptine can augment neurite growth and promote synaptic contacts in cultured hippocampal neurons. The proteomics analysis identified 11 differentially expressed proteins, with roles in neurite growth, metabolism of neurotrophic substances, synaptogenesis, and synaptic activity homeostasis. The data shed light on the mechanisms underlying the neurotrophic effect of tianeptine observed in both animal studies and the clinic.

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