Depression Induced by Low-Frequency Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to Ventral Medial Frontal Cortex in Monkeys

SOURCE: Experimental Neurology. 357:114168, 2022 Nov.

AUTHORS: Nakamura S; Kishimoto Y; Sekino M; Nakamura M; Tsutsui KI

ABSTRACT: The medial frontal cortex (MFC), especially its ventral part, has long been of great interest with respect to the pathology of mood disorders. A number of human brain imaging studies have demonstrated the abnormalities of this brain region in patients with mood disorders, however, whether it is critically and causally involved in the pathogenesis of such disorders remains to be fully elucidated. In this study, we examined how the suppression of neural activity in the ventral region of the MFC (vMFC) affects the behavioral and physiological states of monkeys by using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). By using low-frequency rTMS (LF-rTMS) as an inhibitory intervention, we found that LF-rTMS targeting the vMFC temporarily induced a depression-like state in monkeys, which was characterized by a reduced movement activity level,
impaired sociability, and decreased motivation level, as well as increased plasma cortisol level. On the other hand, no such significant changes in behavioral and physiological states were observed when targeting the other MFC regions, dorsal or posterior. We further found that the administration
of an antidepressant agent, ketamine, ameliorated the abnormal behavioral and physiological states induced by the LF-rTMS intervention. These findings causally indicate the involvement of the vMFC in the regulation of mood and the validity of the LF-rTMS-induced dysfunction of the vMFC as a nonhuman primate model of depression.