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Chronic repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation alters beta-adrenergic and 5-HT2 receptor characteristics in rat brain


Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been shown to affect mood in health and disease. Evidence to date has demonstrated an antidepressant potential for low- and high-frequency rTMS treatment. In animal behavioral models of depression magnetic stimulation of the brain induced similar effects to those of electroconvulsive shock (ECS). In this study the effects of repeated rTMS on rat brain noradrenaline, dopamine, serotonin and their metabolites levels, as well as on beta-adrenergic and 5-HT2 receptor characteristics were studied. After 10 days of treatment, beta-adrenergic receptors were significantly up regulated in the frontal cortex, down regulated in the striatum and were unchanged in the hippocampus. 5-HT2 receptors were down regulated in the frontal cortex and were not changed in the other brain areas. No change in benzodiazepine receptors in the frontal cortex and cerebellum were demonstrated. These findings demonstrate specific and selective alterations induced by repeated rTMS, which are distinct from those induced by other antidepressant treatments. TMS therapeutic effects in humans and behavioral and biochemical effects in animal, suggest that TMS has a unique mechanism of action which requires further investigation.

Brain Res 1999 Jan 16;816(1):78-83
Ben-Shachar D, Gazawi H, Riboyad-Levin J, Klein E.
Laboratory of Psychobiology, Department of Psychiatry, Rambam Medical Center and B. Rappaport Faculty of Medicine Technion, Haifa 31096

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