Antidepressants Restore the Long-Lasting Effects of Stress on Body Weight, and Those Effects are Associated With Leptin Levels

Ma-Li Wong, Suhyun Lee, Andrew Vincent, Martin Lewis, Claudio A. Mastronardi, Julio Licinio

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Background: Major depressive disorder (MDD) and obesity are two common disorders of complex etiology. Antidepressant prescriptions have risen 400% between 1988 and 2008, and obesity rates have doubled in adults during this period. Weight gain is a common outcome of antidepressant treatment; however, the relationship between MDD, obesity and antidepressant treatment is complex and poorly understood. It is plausible that almost 25% of obesity occurrences may be attributable to the association with MDD and current or past antidepressant use. Our lab has been using a new animal model to understand the mechanisms of weight recovery after chronic stress. We hypothesized that the effects of chronic stress on body weight could not only be reversed by antidepressants, but also further worsened by environmental factors, such as high-fat diets, leading to increased body weight and obesity.

Methods: Male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to short-term exposure to recurrent restraint stress and antidepressants (fluoxetine or imipramine) for 2 weeks, followed by diet-induced obesity accomplished by high-fat diet intake for 296 days. Measurements: Body weight, food intake, lipid profile (triglyceride, cholesterol, free-fatty acid) and leptin levels.

Results: Chronically stressed, obesity-prone (OP) rats, defined as those within the upper 50% of body weight gain, and obesity-resistant rats (OR, lower 50% body weight) treated with antidepressants had better weight recovery in the post-stress recovery period. The OP subgroup treated with fluoxetine had better body weight recovery than the other OP subgroups, and the OR subgroup treated with imipramine had better body recovery than the other OR subgroups. New metabolic data (leptin, triglyceride, cholesterol, fatty acid) and new analyses (liner regression slopes among obesity prone and obesity resistant animals, and correlation between body measurements and leptin levels) will be presented.

Conclusions: We conclude that the interaction of stress, antidepressant treatment, and high-fat diet may have long-lasting effects on growth, body weight and length, which in turn are associated with leptin levels.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 5 Dec 2017
EventAmerican College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) 56th Annual Meeting - Palm Desert, United States
Duration: 3 Dec 20177 Dec 2017


ConferenceAmerican College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) 56th Annual Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPalm Desert
OtherAmerican College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) 56th Annual Meeting is organized by American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) and would be held during JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa, Palm Desert, California, United States Of America. This cme conference has been approved with a maximum of 33.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits.
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