Metabolic Brain Disease

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 421–431 | Cite as

Combined corticosterone treatment and chronic restraint stress lead to depression associated with early cognitive deficits in mice

  • Gwladys Temkou Ngoupaye
  • Francis Bray Yassi
  • Doriane Amanda Nguepi Bahane
  • Elisabeth Ngo Bum
Original Article


Many models, such as chronic mild stress, chronic stress or chronic corticosterone injections are used to induce depression associated with cognitive deficits. However, the induction period in these different models is still long and face constraints when it is short such as in the chronic mild stress done in a minimum period of 21 days. This study aimed to characterize a model of depression with early onset cognitive deficit. 14 days combined chronic injection of corticosterone followed by 2 h restraint stress using a restrainer was used to induce depression with early cognitive deficit onset. The forced swim test, sucrose test and plasma corticosterone concentration were used to assess depression-like characteristics. The Morris water maze, novel object recognition task, as well as hippocampal acetylcholinesterase activity were used to assess cognitive deficit. The combined corticosterone injection + chronic restraint stress group presented with marked depression-like behaviour and a higher plasma corticosterone concentration compared to corticosterone injection alone and restraint stress alone. It also showed an alteration in the learning process, memory deficit as well as increased acetylcholinesterase activity compared to corticosterone injection and restraint stress alone groups. These findings suggest that the combined corticosterone administration and chronic restraint stress can be used not only as an animal model for severe depression, but also for depression with early onset cognitive deficit.


Depression Cognitive deficit Corticosterone Restraint Memory Acetylcholinesterase 



The authors would like to thank the University of Ngaoundéré, The Institute of Agricultural Research for Development (IRAD) of Ngaoundéré, the Laboratory of Animal Physiology and Phytopharmacology, University of Dschang, Cameroon, the School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa, and Prof Vivienne Russell for her critical comments in the writing of this manuscript.


This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gwladys Temkou Ngoupaye
    • 1
    • 2
  • Francis Bray Yassi
    • 3
  • Doriane Amanda Nguepi Bahane
    • 3
  • Elisabeth Ngo Bum
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences, College of Health SciencesUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalDurbanSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of Animal BiologyUniversity of DschangDschangCameroon
  3. 3.Department of Biological ScienceUniversity of NgaoundéréNgaoundéréCameroon
  4. 4.Institute of Mines and Petroleum IndustriesUniversity of MarouaMarouaCameroon

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