Honors Program

University Honors, Honors in Psychology

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Russell W. Brown

Thesis Professor Department

Biomedical Sciences

Thesis Reader(s)

Matthew Palmatier, Gregory Ordway


Research has revealed that current antidepressant treatment is less than adequate at alleviating behavioral endophenotypes associated with major depressive disorder (MDD) and there is a need for appropriate animal models to validate novel antidepressant pharmacological targets. In the present study, we wished to establish an ethologically relevant social defeat stress model in combination with a chronic unpredictable stress model, to more accurately mimic severe stress that is common in MDD. Before each day of the introduction of the stressor, animals were given saline or a 40 mg/kg dose of 3-aminobenzamide (3-AB), a poly ADP-ribose (PARP) inhibitor. PARP is a DNA repair enzyme that is increased in activity in response to DNA oxidation, which is elevated in the prefrontal cortical white matter in MDD post-mortem donors. One stressed group was given the common antidepressant fluoxetine (10mg/kg) to serve as a positive control. Results of this study demonstrated that 3-AB alleviated decreases in sucrose preference, a natural reward, along with avoidance on a social interaction test given at the end of social defeat. Preliminary telemetry readings indicated 3-AB was able to significantly decrease heart rate and blood pressure in response to SDS as compared to saline treated rats. Therefore, it appears that PARP inhibition alleviated behavioral endophenotypes associated with stress and represents a new pharmacological treatment for MDD in humans.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Withheld

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Copyright by the authors.

Available for download on Sunday, April 26, 2099