Diffusion kurtosis imaging and high-resolution MRI demonstrate structural aberrations of caudate putamen and amygdala after chronic mild stress
Delgado y Palacios, Rafael
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
Engineering sciences. Technology
, 8 p.
University of Antwerp
The pathophysiology of major depressive disorder (MDD) and other stress related disorders has been associated with aberrations in the hippocampus and the frontal brain areas. More recently, other brain regions, such as the caudate nucleus, the putamen and the amygdala have also been suggested to play a role in the development of mood disorders. By exposing rats to a variety of stressors over a period of eight weeks, different phenotypes, i.e. stress susceptible (anhedonic-like) and stress resilient animals, can be discriminated based on the sucrose consumption test. The anhedonic-like animals are a well validated model for MDD. Previously, we reported that in vivo diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI) of the hippocampus shows altered diffusion properties in chronically stressed rats independent of the hedonic state and that the shape of the right hippocampus is differing among the three groups, including unchallenged controls. In this study we evaluated diffusion properties in the prefrontal cortex, caudate putamen (CPu) and amygdala of anhedonic-like and resilient phenotypes and found that mean kurtosis in the CPu was significantly different between the anhedonic-like and resilient animals. In addition, axial diffusion and radial diffusion were increased in the stressed animal groups in the CPu and the amygdala, respectively. Furthermore, we found that the CPu/brain volume ratio was increased significantly in anhedonic-like animals as compared with control animals. Concurrently, our results indicate that the effects of chronic stress on the brain are not lateralized in these regions. These findings confirm the involvement of the CPu and the amygdala in stress related disorders and MDD. Additionally, we also show that DKI is a potentially important tool to promote the objective assessment of psychiatric disorders.