Choi YJ, Kim JY, Jin WP, Kim YT, Jahng JW, Lee JH
Arch. Oral Biol. 2013 Nov;58(11):1652-8
OBJECTIVE: Sensory information plays an important role to determine psycho-emotional behaviours of individuals. Lingual nerve can be damaged by dental surgery or trauma, such as physical irritation, radiation, chemotherapy, or viral infection. This study was conducted to examine the psycho-emotional effects of lingual nerve damage in which oral sensory relay to the brain is disrupted.
DESIGN: Male Sprague-Dawley rats were tested for anxiety and depression-related behaviours after bilateral transections of the lingual and chorda tympani nerves (Nx) or sham operation. Tissue contents of serotonin and its metabolite in the hippocampus, hypothalamus, and nucleus accumbens were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography.
RESULTS: Sucrose preference was reduced in Nx rats compared with sham rats, suggesting the development of anhedonia, decreased pleasure seeking behaviour, by the lingual nerves transection. Ambulatory activity was decreased, anxiety-related behaviours during the activity test increased, time spent in the open arms during elevated plus maze test decreased, and immobility duration during forced swim test increased in Nx rats compared with sham rats. Serotonin level in the hippocampus of Nx rats was decreased significantly compared with sham rats.
CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that aberration of oral sensory relay to brain may lead to the development of depression- and anxiety-related disorders, and decreased serotonergic neurotransmission in the hippocampus may play a role in its underlying mechanism.