Structural abnormality of the hippocampus associated with depressive symptoms in heart failure rats

Hideaki Suzuki, Akira Sumiyoshi, Yasuharu Matsumoto, Ben A. Duffy, Takeo Yoshikawa, Mark F. Lythgoe, Kazuhiko Yanai, Yasuyuki Taki, Ryuta Kawashima, Hiroaki Shimokawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Heart failure (HF) is characterized by a blood supply which is insufficient to meet the body's demand. HF can potentially affect the brain and is associated with a high prevalence of depression. However, the mechanisms by which the two are related remain largely unclear. Structural abnormalities of the ventral hippocampus have been observed in depression but have never been reported in HF. In this study, we thus investigated structural brain abnormality in HF using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and histological analysis in a rat model of HF. T2-weighted images were obtained in rats with HF (n. = 20) and sham rats (n. = 17) and VBM was used to produce gray matter concentration (GMC) maps. Twenty-four hour locomotor activity was used as a sign of depressive behavior. Brains of HF and sham rats (n. = 8, each) were fixed and histologically analyzed for the measurement of neurogenesis, the number of astrocytes and neurite outgrowth in the ventral hippocampus. VBM demonstrated significant GMC decrease in the hippocampus, which was restricted to the ventral segment. Similarly, neurogenesis and neurite outgrowth were significantly decreased and the number of astrocytes was significantly increased in HF rats as compared with sham rats in the ventral hippocampus. GMC values in the ventral hippocampus were significantly and negatively correlated with 24. hour locomotor activity in HF rats. In conclusion, the present study has demonstrated for the first time that the structural abnormality of the ventral hippocampus is associated with depressive symptoms in HF rats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-92
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 5


  • Depression
  • Heart failure
  • Hippocampus
  • Histology
  • Voxel based morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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