In addition to its role as a neuronal energy substrate and signaling molecule involved in synaptic plasticity and memory consolidation, recent evidence shows that lactate produces antidepressant effects in animal models. However, the mechanisms underpinning lactate’s antidepressant actions remain largely unknown. In this study, we report that lactate reverses the effects of corticosterone on depressive-like behavior, as well as on the inhibition of both the survival and proliferation of new neurons in the adult hippocampus. Furthermore, the inhibition of adult hippocampal neurogenesis prevents the antidepressant-like effects of lactate. Pyruvate, the oxidized form of lactate, did not mimic the effects of lactate on adult hippocampal neurogenesis and depression-like behavior. Finally, our data suggest that conversion of lactate to pyruvate with the concomitant production of NADH is necessary for the neurogenic and antidepressant effects of lactate.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Psychiatry and Mental health