The effect of electroconvulsive therapy on the levels of oxidative stress factors in the prefrontal cortex of depressed rats

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Shahed University Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran

3 School of Medicine, Shahed University Tehran, Iran


Background and Objective: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is one of the effective and less complicated methods for treatment of depression in cases of resistance to common treatments. Given the fundamental role of pre-frontal cortex on changing the mood of depression-related behaviors in depressed patients, the effects of electroconvulsive therapy on enzymatic activity of this cortex were taken into account in this study.
Materials and Methods: For this purpose, 42 male Wistar rats were divided into three control, depressed and ECT groups. To create depression, Chronic Unpredictable Mild Stress (CUMS) method was used. Finally, NO, MDA, GSH and SOD in prefrontal portion of the brain in three mentioned groups were measured
Results: Our findings showed a non-significant increase of MDA (p>0.05) in both groups of depress and ECT in comparison with control. ECT caused a significant increase in contents of GSH and SOD in prefrontal cortex versus the group of control. Also, ECT significantly increased the level of nitrite as compared with control.
Conclusion: Treatment of depression by ECT could increase the level of antioxidants in the depressed rats' brain and it may be considered as a treatment for moderate depression disorders.


  1. Kessler RC, Bromet EJ. The epidemiology of depression across cultures. Annual Review of Public Health 2013; 34:119-38.
  2. Nestler EJ, Barrot M, DiLeone RJ, Eisch AJ, Gold SJ, Monteggia LM. Neurobiology of Depression 2002; 34(1):13-25.
  3. Mathers CD, Loncar D. Projections of global mortality and burden of disease from 2002 to 2030. PLoS medicine 2006; 3(11):e442.
  4. Lenertz LY, Gavala ML, Hill LM, Bertics PJ. Cell signaling via the P2X(7) nucleotide receptor: linkage to ROS production, gene transcription, and receptor trafficking. Purinergic Signalling 2009;5(2):175-87.
  5. Torzsa P, Szeifert L, Dunai K, Kalabay L, Novak M. [Diagnosis and therapy of depression in family practice]. Orvosi Hetilap 2009;150(36):1684-93.
  6. Holsboer F. The corticosteroid receptor hypothesis of depression. Neuropsychopharmacology  2000;23(5):477-501.
  7. Tran PV, Bymaster FP, McNamara RK, Potter WZ. Dual monoamine modulation for improved treatment of major depressive disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology  2003;23(1):78-86.
  8. Brunello N, Mendlewicz J, Kasper S, Leonard B, Montgomery S, Nelson J, et al. The role of noradrenaline and selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibition in depression. European  Neuropsychopharmacology  2002;12(5):461-75.
  9. Krishnan V, Nestler EJ. The molecular neurobiology of depression. Nature 2008;455(7215):894-902.
  10. Abrous DN, Koehl M, Le Moal M. Adult neurogenesis: from precursors to network and physiology. Physiological Reviews 2005;85(2):523-69.
  11. Calvano SE, Xiao W, Richards DR, Felciano RM, Baker HV, Cho RJ, et al. A network-based analysis of systemic inflammation in humans. Nature  2005;437(7061):1032-7.
  12. Castren E, Voikar V, Rantamaki T. Role of neurotrophic factors in depression. Current Opinion in Pharmacology 2007; 7(1):18-21.
  13. Kim H, Lee H, Rowan J, Brahim J, Dionne RA. Genetic polymorphisms in monoamine neurotransmitter systems show only weak association with acute post-surgical pain in humans. Molecular Pain 2006; 2:24.
  14. Ponomarev I, Wang S, Zhang L, Harris RA, Mayfield RD. Gene coexpression networks in human brain identify epigenetic modifications in alcohol dependence. The Journal of Neuroscience 2012;32(5):1884-97.
  15. Galvez V, Li A, Oxley C, Waite S, De Felice N, Hadzi-Pavlovic D, et al. Health Related Quality of Life after ECT for depression: A study exploring the role of different electrode-placements and pulse-widths. Journal of Affective Disorders 2016;206:268-72.
  16. Tor PC, Bautovich A, Wang MJ, Martin D, Harvey SB, Loo C. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Brief Versus Ultrabrief Right Unilateral Electroconvulsive Therapy for Depression. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 2015;76(9):e1092-8.
  17. Bjoerke-Bertheussen J, Schoeyen H, Andreassen OA, Malt UF, Oedegaard KJ, Morken G, et al. Right unilateral electroconvulsive therapy does not cause more cognitive impairment than pharmacologic treatment in treatment-resistant bipolar depression: A 6-month randomized controlled trial follow-up study. Bipolar Disorders 2017.
  18. Baldinger P, Lotan A, Frey R, Kasper S, Lerer B, Lanzenberger R. Neurotransmitters and electroconvulsive therapy. Journal of  Electroconvulsive therapy  2014;30(2):116-21.
  19. Luo J, Min S, Wei K, Cao J, Wang B, Li P, et al. Propofol prevents electroconvulsive-shock-induced memory impairment through regulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity in a rat model of depression. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 2014; 10:1847-59.
  20. Roghani M, Baluchnejadmojarad T. Chronic epigallocatechin-gallate improves aortic reactivity of diabetic rats: underlying mechanisms. Vascular Pharmacology 2009; 51(2-3):84-9.
  21. Cortas NK, Wakid NW. Determination of inorganic nitrate in serum and urine by a kinetic cadmium-reduction method. Clinical Chemistry 1990;36(8 Pt 1):1440-3.
  22. Ilhan A, Gurel A, Armutcu F, Kamisli S, Iraz M. Antiepileptogenic and antioxidant effects of Nigella sativa oil against pentylenetetrazol-induced kindling in mice. Neuropharmacology 2005;49(4):456-64.
  23. Roghani M, Niknam A, Jalali-Nadoushan MR, Kiasalari Z, Khalili M, Baluchnejadmojarad T. Oral pelargonidin exerts dose-dependent neuroprotection in 6-hydroxydopamine rat model of hemi-parkinsonism. Brain Research Bulletin 2010;82(5-6):279-83.
  24. Cheng J, Dong S, Yi L, Geng D, Liu Q. Magnolol abrogates chronic mild stress-induced depressive-like behaviors by inhibiting neuroinflammation and oxidative stress in the prefrontal cortex of mice. International Immunopharmacology 2018;59:61-7.
  25. Vali S, Mythri RB, Jagatha B, Padiadpu J, Ramanujan KS, Andersen JK, et al. Integrating glutathione metabolism and mitochondrial dysfunction with implications for Parkinson's disease: a dynamic model. Neuroscience 2007;149(4):917-30.
  26. Verma R, Nehru B. Effect of centrophenoxine against rotenone-induced oxidative stress in an animal model of Parkinson's disease. Neurochemistry International  2009;55(6):369-75.
  27. Filho CB, Jesse CR, Donato F, Giacomeli R, Del Fabbro L, da Silva Antunes M, et al. Chronic unpredictable mild stress decreases BDNF and NGF levels and Na(+),K(+)-ATPase activity in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of mice: antidepressant effect of chrysin. Neuroscience 2015;289:367-80.
  28. Thakare VN, Patil RR, Oswal RJ, Dhakane VD, Aswar MK, Patel BM. Therapeutic potential of silymarin in chronic unpredictable mild stress induced depressive-like behavior in mice. Journal of Psychopharmacology  2018;32(2):223-35.
  29. Lopresti AL, Maker GL, Hood SD, Drummond PD. A review of peripheral biomarkers in major depression: the potential of inflammatory and oxidative stress biomarkers. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry 2014;48:102-11.
  30. Wigner P, Czarny P, Galecki P, Su KP, Sliwinski T. The molecular aspects of oxidative & nitrosative stress and the tryptophan catabolites pathway (TRYCATs) as potential causes of depression. Psychiatry Research 2017.
  31. Zupan G, Pilipovic K, Hrelja A, Peternel S. Oxidative stress parameters in different rat brain structures after electroconvulsive shock-induced seizures. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry 2008;32(3):771-7.