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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 294068, 7 pages
Research Article

Chewing Prevents Stress-Induced Hippocampal LTD Formation and Anxiety-Related Behaviors: A Possible Role of the Dopaminergic System

1Health Science and Medical Engineering Laboratory, School of Science and Technology, Meiji University, Room A806, 1-1-1 Higashi-Mita, Tama-ku, Kawasaki, Kanagawa 214-8571, Japan
2Orthodontic Division, Department of Oral Science, Kanagawa Dental University Graduate School, 82 Inaoka-cho, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 238-8580, Japan
3Department of Judo Therapy and Medical Science, Faculty of Medical Science, Nippon Sport Science University, 1221-1 Kamoshida-cho, Aoba-ku, Yokohama 227-0033, Japan

Received 25 October 2014; Accepted 13 January 2015

Academic Editor: Jian-Hua Liu

Copyright © 2015 Yumie Ono 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.


The present study examined the effects of chewing on stress-induced long-term depression (LTD) and anxiogenic behavior. Experiments were performed in adult male rats under three conditions: restraint stress condition, voluntary chewing condition during stress, and control condition without any treatments except handling. Chewing ameliorated LTD development in the hippocampal CA1 region. It also counteracted the stress-suppressed number of entries to the center region of the open field when they were tested immediately, 30 min, or 60 min after restraint. At the latter two poststress time periods, chewing during restraint significantly increased the number of times of open arm entries in the elevated plus maze, when compared with those without chewing. The in vivo microdialysis further revealed that extracellular dopamine concentration in the ventral hippocampus, which is involved in anxiety-related behavior, was significantly greater in chewing rats than in those without chewing from 30 to 105 min after stress exposure. Development of LTD and anxiolytic effects ameliorated by chewing were counteracted by administering the D1 dopamine receptor antagonist SCH23390, which suggested that chewing may activate the dopaminergic system in the ventral hippocampus to suppress stress-induced anxiogenic behavior.