2019 Volume 61 Issue 4 Pages 516-520
Salivary glands produce various compounds, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which serve as biomarkers of stress-related disorders. Social isolation-induced stress models a form of chronic mild stress that induces neurodegenerative changes in the brain and behavioral alterations. This study employed a rat model to determine whether social isolation stress affects BDNF levels in saliva. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly allocated to social isolation stress (1 animal/cage) or control (3-4 animals/cage) groups and reared for 8 weeks. The concentration of BDNF was quantified in specific brain regions, blood, and saliva using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The levels of expression of Bdnf and tyrosine kinase B (TrkB) mRNA were quantified using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Behavioral alterations were analyzed using the open-field and elevated plus maze assays. The BDNF concentration was lower in the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, blood, and saliva of the stress group than in those of the controls. Trkb expression in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex was decreased by social isolation stress. Moreover, the social isolation stress group showed behavioral deficits in both tests. In conclusion, these findings indicate that social isolation stress may reduce the expression of BDNF protein in blood and saliva, thus providing a potentially valuable biomarker for diagnosis of stress-related disorders.