Publications by authors named "Mara Komorowski"

5 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Chronic corticosterone treatment enhances extinction-induced depression in aged rats.

Horm Behav 2016 11 12;86:21-26. Epub 2016 Sep 12.

Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, Institute of Experimental Psychology, Heinrich-Heine-University of Düsseldorf, Universitätsstr. 1, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.

Withdrawal and avoidance behavior are common symptoms of depression and can appear as a consequence of absence of reward, i.e. extinction-induced depression (EID). This is particularly relevant for the aged organism subjected to pronounced loss of former rewards. Avoidance of the former site of reward and increased withdrawal into a distant compartment accompany extinction of food-rewarded behavior in rodent models. During extinction, behavioral markers for re-learning dissociate from indicators of extinction-induced depression. Here we examined the effect of a chronic treatment with corticosterone (CORT), a well-known inducer of depression-related behavior, on EID in adult and aged rats. Adult (3-4months) and aged (18months) male rats were treated with CORT via drinking water for 3weeks prior to extinction of a cued food-reward task. CORT treatment increased the distance from the site of reward and decreased goal tracking behavior during extinction, especially in the aged rats. Plasma hormone levels measured before and after restraint stress showed a decline in basal ACTH- and CORT-levels after chronic CORT treatment in aged animals. The treatment significantly impaired the HPA-axis activation after acute stress in both, adult and aged animals, alike. Altogether, these findings show an enhancement of EID after chronic CORT treatment in the aged organism, which may be mediated by an impaired HPA-axis sensitivity. These findings may have special relevance for the investigation of human geriatric depression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yhbeh.2016.09.003DOI Listing
November 2016

A sphingolipid mechanism for behavioral extinction.

J Neurochem 2016 05 15;137(4):589-603. Epub 2016 Mar 15.

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Clinic, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany.

Reward-dependent instrumental behavior must continuously be re-adjusted according to environmental conditions. Failure to adapt to changes in reward contingencies may incur psychiatric disorders like anxiety and depression. When an expected reward is omitted, behavior undergoes extinction. While extinction involves active re-learning, it is also accompanied by emotional behaviors indicative of frustration, anxiety, and despair (extinction-induced depression). Here, we report evidence for a sphingolipid mechanism in the extinction of behavior. Rapid extinction, indicating efficient re-learning, coincided with a decrease in the activity of the enzyme acid sphingomyelinase (ASM), which catalyzes turnover of sphingomyelin to ceramide, in the dorsal hippocampus of rats. The stronger the decline in ASM activity, the more rapid was the extinction. Sphingolipid-focused lipidomic analysis showed that this results in a decline of local ceramide species in the dorsal hippocampus. Ceramides shape the fluidity of lipid rafts in synaptic membranes and by that way can control neural plasticity. We also found that aging modifies activity of enzymes and ceramide levels in selective brain regions. Aging also changed how the chronic treatment with corticosterone (stress) or intranasal dopamine modified regional enzyme activity and ceramide levels, coinciding with rate of extinction. These data provide first evidence for a functional ASM-ceramide pathway in the brain involved in the extinction of learned behavior. This finding extends the known cellular mechanisms underlying behavioral plasticity to a new class of membrane-located molecules, the sphingolipids, and their regulatory enzymes, and may offer new treatment targets for extinction- and learning-related psychopathological conditions. Sphingolipids are common lipids in the brain which form lipid domains at pre- and postsynaptic membrane compartments. Here we show a decline in dorsal hippocampus ceramide species together with a reduction of acid sphingomyelinase activity during extinction of conditioned behavior in rats. This reduction was associated with expression of re-learning-related behavior, but not with emotional behaviors. Read the Editorial Highlight for this article on page 485.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jnc.13537DOI Listing
May 2016

Animal models of extinction-induced depression: loss of reward and its consequences.

Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2013 Nov 4;37(9 Pt A):2059-70. Epub 2013 Mar 4.

Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, Institute of Experimental Psychology, University of Düsseldorf, Universitätsstr. 1, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany. Electronic address:

The absence or loss of rewards or reinforcers holds a major role in the development of depression in humans. In spite of the prevalence of extinction-induced depression (EID) in humans, few attempts have been made to establish animal models thereof. Here we present the concept of extinction-related depression and summarize the results of two sets of studies in our attempt to create animal models of EID, one set based on extinction after positive reinforcement in the Skinner-box, the other on extinction after negative reinforcement - escape from water. We found various behaviors emitted during the extinction trials that responded to treatment with antidepressant drugs: Accordingly, the important behavioral marker for EID during extinction of escape from the water was immobility. During extinction after positive reinforcement the important indices for extinction-induced depression are the withdrawal from the former site of reward, biting behavior and rearing up on the hind legs. Avoidance behavior and biting may model aspects of human depressive behavior, which may include withdrawal or avoidance as well as aggressive-like behaviors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2013.02.016DOI Listing
November 2013

Repeated cocaine administration in marmoset monkeys induces hypervigilance-related behaviors, but no changes in locomotion and cortisol levels.

Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2012 Dec 11;103(2):279-83. Epub 2012 Aug 11.

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Health Sciences, University of Brasilia, 70910-900 Brasilia, DF, Brazil.

Although cocaine induces several behavioral and hormonal effects, little is known about non-contingent repeated administrations in non-human primates. Therefore, we analyzed behavioral (locomotion, vigilance) and hormonal (cortisol) responses of adult black tufted-ear marmosets during repeated administrations and withdrawal trials. The subjects were divided into two groups (saline or cocaine 5mg/kg, ip) and submitted to nine treatment trials and four withdrawal trials in the absence of any treatment in an open-field arena. Blood samples were obtained on five different time points of the procedure to evaluate the effects of repeated cocaine treatment on basal cortisol levels. Cocaine repeatedly administered to drug-naïve marmosets induced a slow-onset hypervigilance effect (i.e., scan - long-lasting sweeping movements of the head directed at the environment; and glance - single rapid movement of the head directed at the environment), with no concomitant change in locomotion. Treatment cessation during withdrawal immediately reversed the cocaine-induced hypervigilance effect. Cortisol levels remained constant throughout the procedure. Therefore, marmosets seem to have a similar behavioral - but not hormonal - response as humans and other nonhuman primates repeatedly injected with cocaine, but differ from rats in their absence of hyperlocomotor activity. The development of hypervigilance with repeated application may constitute a unique measure to assess cocaine-induced changes in behavior in the marmoset and other nonhuman primates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pbb.2012.08.003DOI Listing
December 2012

Diazepam-induced decrease in anxiety-like behaviors of marmoset monkeys exposed to a novel open-field.

Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2012 Jan 29;100(3):518-21. Epub 2011 Oct 29.

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Health Sciences, University of Brasilia, 70910-900 Brasilia, DF, Brazil.

Unfamiliar environments can be a source of stress, fear and anxiety for marmoset monkeys. In spite of existing data, the influence of putative anxiolytics on the effects of novel environments has yet to be tested in primates. Therefore, the behavior of adult black tufted-ear marmosets to a single brief (15 min) exposure to a novel environment was analyzed in the presence and absence of diazepam (DZP). Marmosets were pre-treated with vehicle (n=5) or diazepam (0.5 mg/kg, ip; n=5) and submitted to a 15 min free exploration trial within a rectangular open-field arena. DZP-treated subjects, compared to vehicle controls, demonstrated significantly lower rates of (phee) contact calls and exploration, while a higher scan duration. Sojourn time in the arena's central zone was also significantly higher in the former group and sedation was not observed. Thus, pre-treatment with the benzodiazepine DZP decreased several anxiety-related behaviors induced by subjecting the marmosets to a new environment. The results also indicate that, as with rodent subjects, the open-field may provide a useful simple paradigm for assessing anxiety-like behaviors in this primate and, as such, constitutes a unique opportunity for direct comparative studies between rodents and marmoset monkeys in terms of anxiety and/or sedation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pbb.2011.10.020DOI Listing
January 2012
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