Maternal separation causes death of brain cells - Prozac treatment reverses those changes

November 26, 2001

Deficiencies in mother-infant relationship during infancy have been known to influence neonatal development and behavior. Such environmental shortcomings are thought to affect the vulnerability of the infant to certain neuropsychiatric disorders over its lifespan. Fluoxetine is often used for treating maternal separation-related mental disorders in children. The authors administrated fluoxetine to rat pups with maternal separation and social isolation to determine its effects on neuronal development, in particular with respect to cell proliferation and apoptosis in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. Compared to pups with maternal separation without fluoxetine treatment, pups with maternal separation and fluoxetine treatment showed a significantly increased number of BrdU-positive cells and a significantly decreased number of TUNEL-positive cells in the dentate gyrus. These data support that fluoxetine affects cell proliferation and apoptosis and that it may offer new therapeutic opportunities as an agent to counteract the effects of maternal separation.
Citation source: Molecular Psychiatry 2001 Volume 6, number 6, pages 725-728.

For further information on this work, please contact Dr. J. H. Chung, Kohwang Medical Research Institute, Department of Pharmcology, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, 1 Hoegi-Dong, Tongdaemon-Ku, Seoul, 130-701, Korea; Office phone: +82-2-961-0281; FAX: +82-2-968-0560; e-mail:

Molecular Psychiatry is published by the Nature Publishing Group.

Editor: Julio Licinio, M.D.; phone: +1 310 825-7113; FAX: +1 310 206-6715; e-mail:

For a copy of this article, please contact Dr. Licinio.


ARTICLE: "Fluoxetine enhances cell proliferation and prevents apoptosis in dentate gyrus of maternally separated ratsÓ

AUTHORS: HJ Lee, JW Kim, SV Yim, MJ Kim, SA Kim, YJ Kim, CJ Kim, JH Chung

Kohwang Medical Research Institute, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, 1 Hoegi-Dong, Tongdaemon-Ku, Seoul, 130-701, Korea; Seoul National Mental Hospital, 30-1 Junggok3-Dong, Kwangjin-Ku, Seoul, 143-223, Korea, and Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Kangwon National University, Hoyuja-Dong, Cheounchon, Kwangwon-Do, 200-71, Korea

Molecular Psychiatry

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