Cardiac glycosaminoglycans and structural alterations during chronic stress-induced depression-like behavior in mice

Academic Article


  • Major depressive disorder (MDD) is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and its complications; however, causal mechanisms remain unclear. In the present study, we investigate cardiac structural and functional alterations and associated changes in myocardial glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) disaccharide profile in mice that exhibit depression-like behavior. Mice were assigned to the chronic mild stress (CMS) group and nonstress control group (CT). The CMS group was exposed to a series of mild, unpredictable stressors for 7 wk. Mice in the CMS group show a significant decrease in protein expression of hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and exhibit depression-like behavioral changes, such as learned helplessness and decreased exploration behavior, as compared with the control group. Although cardiac function remained unchanged between the groups, echocardiography analysis showed slightly increased left ventricular wall thickness in the CMS group. Furthermore, the CMS group shows an increase in cardiomyocyte cross-sectional area and an associated decrease in BDNF protein expression and increase in IL-6 mRNA expression, when compared with control mice. GAG disaccharide analysis of the left ventricles of the CMS and CT mice revealed an elevation in heparan (HS) and chondroitin sulfate (CS) content in the CMS hearts (35.3% and 17.9%, respectively, vs. control group). Furthermore, we also observed that unsulfated or monosulfated disaccharides were the most abundant units; however, we did not find any significant difference in mole percent or sulfation pattern of HS/CS disaccharides between the groups. The current investigation highlights a need for further research to explore the relationship between cardiac GAGs biology and myocardial remodeling as a causal mechanism that underlie cardiovascular complications in patients with MDD. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Comorbidity between depression and CVD is well established, whereas its etiology, especially the role of nonfibrous components (proteoglycans/GAGs) of the extracellular matrix, is unexplored. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to characterize cardiac proteoglycan/glycosaminoglycan profile in response to depression-like behavioral changes in mice. We observed that chronic mild stress (CMS)-induced depression-like behavior and alterations in glycosaminoglycan profile were associated with structural changes in the heart.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 22177691
  • Author List

  • Luong H; Singh S; Patil M; Krishnamurthy P
  • Start Page

  • H2044
  • End Page

  • H2057
  • Volume

  • 320
  • Issue

  • 5