Early life stress is known as a risk factor for the development of depression and its associated comorbidities. Mitochondrial dysfunction plays a critical role in the pathophysiology of depression and cardiovascular diseases. Evidence indicated that regular physical activity during adolescence may be able to adjust the negative impact of maternal separation stress as a valid animal model of depression on behavior and cardiac mitochondrial function of adult rats.
In this experimental study, maternal separation stress was applied to 72 male rat pups by separating them from their mothers for 180 minutes during second to fourteenth day of postnatal. Then, the animals were randomly divided into different treatment twelve groups (fluoxetine and treadmill) and received the treatments during adolescence. Further, we evaluated the effects of maternal separation stress on the rat behaviors test. Finally, we assessed the reactive oxygen species, mitochondrial glutathione, ATP and cytochrome c release in the cardiac tissue of animals. Comparison between groups were analyzed using independent t-test and one-way analysis of variance and Statistically significant was considered if p˂0.05.
The results of this study showed tha depressive-like behaviors following maternal separation stress in adult male rats were associated with oxidative stress in cardiac tissue. Also the results showed that treating animals with fluoxetine or compulsory exercise on the treadmill during adolescence improved some cardiac mitochondrial function.
The results of this study highlights the importance of adolescence as a period during which treating animals by performing a treadmill exercise has significant protective effects on cardiac energy homeostasis disorders caused by maternal separation stress.
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