The neuroendocrine and behavioral effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) were investigated in two rat lines selectively bred for high and low anxiety-related behavior. The stimulation parameters were adjusted according to the results of accurate computer-assisted and magnetic resonance imaging-based reconstructions of the current density distributions induced by rTMS in the rat and human brain, ensuring comparable stimulation patterns in both cases. Adult male rats were treated in two 3-day series under halothane anesthesia. In the forced swim test, rTMS-treatment induced a more active coping strategy in the high anxiety-related behavior rats only (time spent struggling; 332% vs. controls), allowing these animals to reach the performance of low anxiety-related behavior rats. In contrast, rTMS-treated low anxiety-related behavior rats did not change their swimming behavior. The development of active coping strategies in high anxiety-related behavior rats was accompanied by a significantly attenuated stress-induced elevation of plasma corticotropin and corticosterone concentrations. In summary, the behavioral and neuroendocrine effects of rTMS of frontal brain regions in high anxiety-related behavior rats are comparable to the effects of antidepressant drug treatment. Interestingly, in the psychopathological animal model repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation induced changes in stress coping abilities in the high-anxiety line only.
Neuropsychopharmacology 2001 Apr;24(4):337-49
Keck ME, Welt T, Post A, Muller MB, Toschi N, Wigger A, Landgraf R, Holsboer F, Engelmann M.