Neuronal apoptosis has been implicated in the pathophysiology of the anxiety disorders such as panic disorder with agoraphobia and post-traumatic stress disorder. In animal models of anxiety disorder, the chronic stress induces suppression of neural cell proliferation in the hippocampus. Otherwise, stress-induced atrophy and loss of hippocampal neurons are overcome by hippocampal neurogenesis. In this sense, increase in the cell proliferation of the hippocampus of the mature brain might target new therapeutic strategies for anxiety disorders. Interfacing neurons with nanomaterial based on carbon was shown to increase neuronal activity and neurite outgrowth in the cultured hippocampal neurons. The objective of the present study is to evaluate the effects in the adult hippocampus neurogenesis induced by the carbon-based device implantation into hippocampus in an animal model of anxiety disorder. To this aim, it will be investigated the impact of the carbon nanotube/graphene-based devices implanted into the hippocampus in the glial and neuronal cells proliferation and in the neural network electrophysiological properties of adult rats. In independently groups on animals, it will be analysed the possible neuro-inflammatory effect caused by stereotaxic administration of carbon nanotubes or graphene into the hippocampus dentate gyrus. In order to test the effect of the carbon nanotube/graphene-based interfaces in the defensive behaviour induced by chronic stress, rats will be submitted to the contextual fear conditioning test. Finally, it will be evaluated the neurogenesis effect induced by the carbon nanotube/graphene-based interfaces in the stress-induced atrophy of hippocampal neurons in the adult rats.
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