Fluoxetine treatment is effective in a rat model of childhood-induced post-traumatic stress disorder

Lior Ariel, Sapir Inbar, Schachaf Edut, Gal Richter-Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are first-line treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients, their therapeutic efficacy is limited. Childhood adversities are considered a risk factor for developing PTSD in adulthood but may trigger PTSD without additional trauma in some individuals. Nevertheless, just as childhood is considered a vulnerable period it may also be an effective period for preventive treatment. Using a rat model of childhood-induced PTSD, pre-pubertal stress (juvenile stress, JVS), we compared the therapeutic effects of fluoxetine and examined the effectiveness of 1 month of fluoxetine treatment following JVS and into adulthood compared to treatment in adulthood. Since not all individuals develop PTSD following a trauma, comparing only group means is not the adequate type of analysis. We employed a behavioral profiling approach, which analyzes individual differences compared to the normal behavior of a control group. Animals exposed to JVS exhibited a higher proportion of affected animals as measured using the elevated plus maze 8 weeks after JVS. Fluoxetine treatment following the JVS significantly decreased the proportion of affected animals as measured in adulthood. Fluoxetine treatment in adulthood was not effective. The results support the notion that childhood is not only a vulnerable period but also an effective period for preventive treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number41398
JournalTranslational Psychiatry
Volume7
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by a USAMRMC award [10071009] to G.R.-L and by research grant no. 3-13563 from the State of Israel Ministry of Science, Technology, & Space to G.R-L.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry

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