Weight than stressed animals (see Figure 1A). To determine whether CUS

Weight than stressed animals (see Figure 1A). To determine whether CUS and learning experience were stressful to the animals, we assessed corticosterone levels. Fecal samples were collected from 12 randomly selected control and stressed rats that underwent the RAWM task. Control and stressed animals did not 1113-59-3 differ in corticosterone levels before onset of CUS (baseline). However, at the end of CUS, stressed animals had significantly higher corticosterone levels compared to controls, and had more than doubled their baseline levels. Corticosterone levels were significantly elevated in the controls by exposure to the RAWM to the point that they were no longer significantly different from CUS animals (see Figure 1B). CUS animals, however, did not show Licochalcone A custom synthesis further elevation of corticosterone due to RAWM exposure.Chronic Unpredictable Stress Enhanced Long-term Spatial MemoryFollowing CUS, control and stressed animals were exposed to the RAWM to evaluate spatial learning and memory. There was no difference between groups in latency to find the hidden platform or number of errors made during the acquisition (trials 1?12) of the RAWM learning task (see Figure 2A ). Furthermore, there was no significant difference between groups for latency or errors for the short-term memory trial. However, stressed animals found the platform significantly faster and made fewer errors in the long-term memory trial.Chronic Unpredictable Stress most Severely Affected Neurogenesis in the Ventral Dentate GyrusTo determine the effects of CUS on hippocampal neurogenesis, we stereologically quantified cell proliferation (CldU+ cells), survival (IdU+ cells) and neuronal differentiation (DCX+ cells) in the dorsal and ventral hippocampal subregions. A similar pattern was found for all 3 markers. Compared to control rats, CUS animals had significantly fewer CldU+, IdU+ and DCX+ cells in both subregions (see Figure 3). In addition, within the stressed condition, there were significantly fewer CldU+, IdU+ and DCX+ cells in the ventral subregion, compared to the dorsal, indicating that the ventral sub-region was worst affected by stressful experiences.Figure 2. CUS facilitated long-term spatial memory in the RAWM. Escape latencies did not differ between control and stressed animals during the acquisition trials (1?2), or on the short-term memory trial (30 min) (A). However, stressed animals took significantly less time to locate the hidden platform on the long-term memory trial (24 hrs). A similar pattern was seen for errors made during search (B). * significantly different from control. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053126.gDiscussion Chronic Unpredictable Stress Enhanced Long-term Spatial MemoryAlthough the entire hippocampus is stress-sensitive, the ventral portion appears selectively vulnerable to the negative effects [7,8]. We have previously shown that neuroadaptive responses to CUS, including expression of NPY and DFosB, are more pronounced in the dorsal hippocampal subregion [9]. Because this subregion has been implicated in spatial function [4,29,30], we reasoned that 11967625 stress-induced plasticity there might confer an advantage in a spatial task. Therefore, in the present study, we compared the performance of animals that had been through a 2-week paradigm ?of CUS to that of stress-naive animals using a one-day learning paradigm in the RAWM [21]. Our results show that although there was no difference between groups in acquisition or shortterm memory trials, animals that underwen.Weight than stressed animals (see Figure 1A). To determine whether CUS and learning experience were stressful to the animals, we assessed corticosterone levels. Fecal samples were collected from 12 randomly selected control and stressed rats that underwent the RAWM task. Control and stressed animals did not differ in corticosterone levels before onset of CUS (baseline). However, at the end of CUS, stressed animals had significantly higher corticosterone levels compared to controls, and had more than doubled their baseline levels. Corticosterone levels were significantly elevated in the controls by exposure to the RAWM to the point that they were no longer significantly different from CUS animals (see Figure 1B). CUS animals, however, did not show further elevation of corticosterone due to RAWM exposure.Chronic Unpredictable Stress Enhanced Long-term Spatial MemoryFollowing CUS, control and stressed animals were exposed to the RAWM to evaluate spatial learning and memory. There was no difference between groups in latency to find the hidden platform or number of errors made during the acquisition (trials 1?12) of the RAWM learning task (see Figure 2A ). Furthermore, there was no significant difference between groups for latency or errors for the short-term memory trial. However, stressed animals found the platform significantly faster and made fewer errors in the long-term memory trial.Chronic Unpredictable Stress most Severely Affected Neurogenesis in the Ventral Dentate GyrusTo determine the effects of CUS on hippocampal neurogenesis, we stereologically quantified cell proliferation (CldU+ cells), survival (IdU+ cells) and neuronal differentiation (DCX+ cells) in the dorsal and ventral hippocampal subregions. A similar pattern was found for all 3 markers. Compared to control rats, CUS animals had significantly fewer CldU+, IdU+ and DCX+ cells in both subregions (see Figure 3). In addition, within the stressed condition, there were significantly fewer CldU+, IdU+ and DCX+ cells in the ventral subregion, compared to the dorsal, indicating that the ventral sub-region was worst affected by stressful experiences.Figure 2. CUS facilitated long-term spatial memory in the RAWM. Escape latencies did not differ between control and stressed animals during the acquisition trials (1?2), or on the short-term memory trial (30 min) (A). However, stressed animals took significantly less time to locate the hidden platform on the long-term memory trial (24 hrs). A similar pattern was seen for errors made during search (B). * significantly different from control. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053126.gDiscussion Chronic Unpredictable Stress Enhanced Long-term Spatial MemoryAlthough the entire hippocampus is stress-sensitive, the ventral portion appears selectively vulnerable to the negative effects [7,8]. We have previously shown that neuroadaptive responses to CUS, including expression of NPY and DFosB, are more pronounced in the dorsal hippocampal subregion [9]. Because this subregion has been implicated in spatial function [4,29,30], we reasoned that 11967625 stress-induced plasticity there might confer an advantage in a spatial task. Therefore, in the present study, we compared the performance of animals that had been through a 2-week paradigm ?of CUS to that of stress-naive animals using a one-day learning paradigm in the RAWM [21]. Our results show that although there was no difference between groups in acquisition or shortterm memory trials, animals that underwen.

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