Synaptic plasticity and tianeptine:
structural regulation

Fuchs E, Czeh B, Michaelis T,
de Biurrun G, Watanabe T, Frahm J.
Division of Neurobiology,
German Primate Center,
Kellnerweg 4, 37077 Gottingen, Germany.
Eur Psychiatry. 2002 Jul;17 Suppl 3:311-7


Stress-induced structural and cellular alterations in the hippocampus can contribute to the pathophysiology of depression. The reversal of these alterations may be a mechanism by which antidepressants achieve their therapeutic effect. The aim of the present study was therefore to investigate the effect of tianeptine on stress-induced structural changes and alterations in cerebral metabolites. To this end, psychosocially stressed male tree shrews were treated with tianeptine. A combination of in vivo and postmortem methods was used to evaluate the antidepressant treatment on the preservation of neuronal plasticity. It was found that all stress-induced effects were prevented by the administration of tianeptine. It is concluded that these findings provide experimental evidence for recent theories that impairment of neuronal viability and neuroplasticity might be important causal factors in mood disorders, suggesting tianeptine as a potential stimulator of neural resilience.

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