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Publication Date



School of Medicine


Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience


Phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) has four isoforms (PDE4A-D) with at least 25 splice variants. PDE4 subtype nonselective inhibitors produce potent antidepressant-like and cognition-enhancing effects via increased intracellular cyclic AMP (cAMP) signaling in the brain. Our previous data have demonstrated that long-form PDE4Ds appear to be involved in these pharmacological properties of PDE4 inhibitors in the normal animals. However, it is not clear whether long-form PDE4Ds are critical for the behaviors and related cellular signaling/neuronal plasticity/neuroendocrine alterations in the depressed animals. In the present study, animals exposed to the chronic unpredictable stress (CUS), a rodent model of depression, exhibited elevated corticosterone, depressive-like behavior, memory deficits, accompanied with decreased cAMP-PKA-CREB and cAMP-ERK1/2-CREB signaling and neuroplasticity. These alterations induced by CUS were reversed by RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated prefrontal cortex long-form PDE4Ds (especially PDE4D4 and PDE4D5) knock-down, similar to the effects of the PDE4 subtype nonselective inhibitor rolipram. Furthermore, these effects of RNAi were not enhanced by rolipram. These data indicate a predominant role of long-form PDE4Ds in the pharmacotherapies of PDE4 inhibitors for depression and concomitant memory deficits. Long-form PDE4Ds, especially PDE4D4 and PDE4D5, appear to be the promising targets for the development of antidepressants with high therapeutic indices.

Source Citation

Wang, Z., Yang, W., Zhang, Y. et al. Phosphodiesterase-4D Knock-down in the Prefrontal Cortex Alleviates Chronic Unpredictable Stress-Induced Depressive-Like Behaviors and Memory Deficits in Mice. Sci Rep 5, 11332 (2015).


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