Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Introduction: Depression is increasingly diagnosed in adolescence, necessitating specific prevention and treatment methods. However, there is a lack of animal models mimicking juvenile depression. This study explores a novel model using ultrasound (US) stress in juvenile mice. Methods: We employed the US stress model in one-month-old C57/BL6 mice, exposing them to alternating ultrasound frequencies (20–25 kHz and 25–45 kHz) for three weeks. These frequencies correspond to negative and neutral emotional states in rodents and can induce a depressive-like syndrome. Concurrently, mice received either an omega-3 food supplement (FS) containing eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 0.55 mg/kg/day) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 0.55 mg/kg/day) or a vehicle. Post-stress, we evaluated anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors, blood corticosterone levels, brain expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, and conducted metabolome analysis of brain, liver and blood plasma. Results: US-exposed mice treated with vehicle exhibited decreased sucrose preference, a sign of anhedonia, a key feature of depression, increased anxiety-like behavior, elevated corticosterone levels, and enhanced TNF and IL-1β gene expression in the brain. In contrast, US-FS mice did not display these changes. Omega-3 supplementation also reduced anxiety-like behavior in non-stressed mice. Metabolomic analysis revealed US-induced changes in brain energy metabolism, with FS increasing brain sphingomyelin. Liver metabolism was affected by both US and FS, while plasma metabolome changes were exclusive to FS. Brain glucose levels correlated positively with activity in anxiety tests. Conclusion: Chronic omega-3 intake counteracted depressive- and anxiety-like behaviors in a US model of juvenile depression in mice. These effects likely stem from the anti-inflammatory properties of the supplement, suggesting potential therapeutic applications in juvenile depression.

Original publication




Journal article


Neurobiology of Stress

Publication Date