Published on Wed Jun 23 2021

Sex-based changes in rat brain serotonin and behavior in a model of altitude-related vulnerability to treatment-resistant depression.

Shami Kanekar, Chandni Sheth, Hendrick Ombach, Jadeda Brown, Michael Hoffman, Robert Ettaro, Perry Renshaw

Rates of depression and suicide increase with altitude. Depression and SSRI resistance are linked to disrupted serotonergic function. Hypobaric hypoxia may reduce the oxygen-dependent synthesis of serotonin.

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Abstract

Rates of depression and suicide increase with altitude. In our animal model, rats housed at moderate altitude vs. at sea level exhibit increased depressive symptoms in the forced swim test (FST) and lack of response to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Depression and SSRI resistance are linked to disrupted serotonergic function, and hypobaric hypoxia may reduce the oxygen-dependent synthesis of serotonin. We therefore tested brain serotonin in rats housed at altitude.