Reduced anterior cingulate cortex volume induced by chronic stress correlates with increased behavioral emotionality and decreased synaptic puncta density.
Misquitta KA., Miles A., Prevot TD., Knoch JK., Fee C., Newton DF., Ellegood J., Lerch JP., Sibille E., Nikolova YS., Banasr M.
Clinical and preclinical studies report that chronic stress induces behavioral deficits as well as volumetric and synaptic alterations in corticolimbic brain regions including the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), amygdala (AMY), nucleus accumbens (NAc) and hippocampus (HPC). Here, we aimed to investigate the volumetric changes associated with chronic restraint stress (CRS) and link these changes to the CRS-induced behavioral and synaptic deficits. We first confirmed that CRS increases behavioral emotionality, defined as collective scoring of anxiety- and anhedonia-like behaviors. We then demonstrated that CRS induced a reduction of total brain volume which negatively correlated with behavioral emotionality. Region-specific analysis identified that only the ACC showed significant decrease in volume following CRS (p