Repeated 6-h daily restraint stress over 21 days reduces length and number of branch points of hippocampal CA3c pyramidal dendrites in the hippocampal formation of adult male rats. This effect is mimicked by daily injections of 40 mg/kg corticosterone. Daily treatment with tianeptine (15 mg/kg) prior to stress sessions or the corticosterone treatment prevented these effects of stress or corticosterone, respectively. Tianeptine treatment did not prevent the effects of stress to increase adrenal/body weight ratio, nor did it prevent the effects of stress to decrease body weight gain, indicating that its actions are not mediated solely by effects on stress-induced secretion of corticosterone. Because tianeptine is known to enhance neural uptake of serotonin, these results suggest that the serotonergic system may be involved in modulating stress and corticosterone effects on dendritic morphology. © 1992.
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