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Images in Electroconvulsive Therapy: Electroconvulsive Shocks Dose-Dependently Increase Dendritic Arborization in the CA1 Region of the Rat Hippocampus

Smitha, Jangama S. M. MSc (Medical Anatomy)*; Roopa, Ravindranath MBBS, MS (Anatomy)*; Khaleel, Nagarchi MSc (Medical Anatomy)*; Kutty, Bindu M. PhD; Andrade, Chittaranjan MD

doi: 10.1097/YCT.0000000000000077
Images in Clinical ECT

Stress and depression are associated with impaired neuroplasticity in the hippocampus: there is decreased dendritic arborization and synaptogenesis, which is hypothesized to explain decreased adaptive competence of the organism. Representative light microscopy images are presented that show that 6 once-daily electroconvulsive shocks (ECSs) dose-dependently increased dendritic arborization in the CA1 region of the hippocampus in healthy, adult, male Wistar rats (n = 10 in each of sham, 10-mC, and 40-mC ECS groups). These neuroplasticity changes, identified 1 month after the last ECS, may explain a part of the mechanism of action of electroconvulsive therapy in conditions such as depression.

From the *Department of Anatomy, St John’s Medical College; and Departments of †Neurophysiology and ‡Psychopharmacology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India.

Received for publication August 6, 2013; accepted August 9, 2013.

Reprints: Chittaranjan Andrade, MD, Department of Psychopharmacology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore 560 029, India (e-mail:

The authors have no conflicts of interest or financial disclosures to report.

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins