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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 159015, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/159015
Research Article

Subchronic Arsenic Exposure Induces Anxiety-Like Behaviors in Normal Mice and Enhances Depression-Like Behaviors in the Chemically Induced Mouse Model of Depression

1Department of Neurology, Chi Mei Medical Center, 901 Chung-Hwa Road, Yongkang, Tainan 710, Taiwan
2Department of Biotechnology, College of Engineering, Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology, 1 Nan-Tai Street, Yongkang, Tainan 710, Taiwan
3Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, 138 Sheng-Li Road, Tainan 704, Taiwan
4Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, 138 Sheng-Li Road, Tainan 704, Taiwan
5Occupational Safety, Health, and Medicine Research Center, National Cheng Kung University, 138 Sheng-Li Road, Tainan 704, Taiwan
6Center for Occupational and Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, 138 Sheng-Li Road, Tainan 704, Taiwan
7Department of Occupational Medicine, Chi Mei Medical Center, 901 Chung-Hwa Road, Yongkang, Tainan 710, Taiwan
8Department of Occupational Safety and Health, Institute of Industrial Safety and Disaster Prevention, College of Sustainable Environment, Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science, No. 60, Section 1, Erh-Jen Road, Jen-Te, Tainan 711, Taiwan

Received 2 December 2014; Revised 5 April 2015; Accepted 21 April 2015

Academic Editor: Damião Pergentino de Sousa

Copyright © 2015 Chia-Yu Chang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Accumulating evidence implicates that subchronic arsenic exposure causes cerebral neurodegeneration leading to behavioral disturbances relevant to psychiatric disorders. However, there is still little information regarding the influence of subchronic exposure to arsenic-contaminated drinking water on mood disorders and its underlying mechanisms in the cerebral prefrontal cortex. The aim of this study is to assess the effects of subchronic arsenic exposure (10 mg/LAs2O3 in drinking water) on the anxiety- and depression-like behaviors in normal mice and in the chemically induced mouse model of depression by reserpine pretreatment. Our findings demonstrated that 4 weeks of arsenic exposure enhance anxiety-like behaviors on elevated plus maze (EPM) and open field test (OFT) in normal mice, and 8 weeks of arsenic exposure augment depression-like behaviors on tail suspension test (TST) and forced swimming test (FST) in the reserpine pretreated mice. In summary, in this present study, we demonstrated that subchronic arsenic exposure induces only the anxiety-like behaviors in normal mice and enhances the depression-like behaviors in the reserpine induced mouse model of depression, in which the cerebral prefrontal cortex BDNF-TrkB signaling pathway is involved. We also found that eight weeks of subchronic arsenic exposure are needed to enhance the depression-like behaviors in the mouse model of depression. These findings imply that arsenic could be an enhancer of depressive symptoms for those patients who already had the attribute of depression.